Social media has become synonymous with the digital age and connectivity. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat and other social platforms were devised to bring communities closer together, to bring users closer to other people and their interests. However, in the past few years, overuse of social media has been criticized, and even linked to depression. These criticisms were perhaps the impetus behind the new tools that allow users to manage time on Facebook and Instagram.
These features, called “Your time on Facebook” and “Your activity” on Instagram, encourage users to set daily limits for time spent on the platforms, as well as offering the ability to mute their push notifications.
According to The Verge, they are “designed to address concerns that addictive feedback loops built into social apps have been detrimental to users’ well-being.”
Knowing how aggressively social media platforms encourage their users to spend time on their sites and apps, the move may seem contradictory to their business model and ultimately, lead to lower usage of the platforms. However, Ameet Ranadive of Instagram made the point that “it’s really important for people that use Instagram and Facebook to feel like the time that they spend with us is time well spent. That’s the whole purpose of this release.”
“We want to empower people to make intentional decisions about how much time they spend, and how they want to engage with the app,” he said. “There may be some trade-off with other metrics for the company. That’s a trade-off that we’re willing to live with. In the long run this is something that’s important for the community, and something we want to invest in.”
Learn more about how you can utilize the tools they’ve introduced to manage time on Facebook and Instagram here.