Why it matters: Despite the Cambridge Analytica scandal and its other data-sharing controversies, many of Facebook’s 2 billion+ monthly users spend an excessive amount of time on the platform. But the social network is testing a new tool that helps people manage their app usage.
Tipster Jane Manchun Wong, who also revealed Twitter’s plan to encrypt direct messages, tweeted that the company was working on the “Your Time on Facebook” feature in the Android app. It shows how long a person has spent on the site over the last seven days. It also allows you to set a daily time limit, with the app sending a notification once this has been reached.
Facebook is working on "Your Time on Facebook" which could help users to manage their time spent on Facebook app.— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) 22 June 2018
Instagram is also working on helping users to improve their digital wellbeing: https://t.co/y38mV3RtqB
as previously spotted: https://t.co/D26M9RuSxG pic.twitter.com/YqSyH0fpII
Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch that it was developing on the tool. “We’re always working on new ways to help make sure people’s time on Facebook is time well spent,” it said, in a statement. CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed a similar sentiment in a post from the start of this year.
Development of the tool comes after Apple revealed its “digital wellness” feature at the Worldwide Developer Conference earlier this month. The series of controls lets iOS users see how much time they spend on devices and set limits on app usage. The iPhone maker even used Facebook as an example of an application people can spend too much time on.
We still don’t know when Facebook might start rolling out the feature, but after all the negative publicity it’s faced this year, don’t be surprised to see a tool that helps people spend less time on the platform arrive sooner rather than later.