Facebook & Instagram Rolled Out a Time-Tracking Feature

Emmas Tracker Post
Emma Komrska
August 21, 2018

Facebook and Instagram recently rolled out a time-tracking feature to monitor the amount of time users are spending within the two apps. Finally, a feature that tells us how much time we’ve spent mindlessly scrolling…

So why are these social media giants releasing this feature? Don’t they want us spending every minute of the day on their apps? Turns out, these new tools are associated with the company’s pledge to the “time well spent movement”. The company has also decided to release two additional features that will help monitor app usage. Learn all about these new features below.


Where can I find this feature?

Facebook has released screenshots of the activity dashboard, so you know what to expect in your Facebook and Instagram apps.


Facebook Time Tracking Feature

Facebook’s time-tracking feature 



Instagram Time Tracking

 Instagram’s time-tracking feature

As you can see, users will also have the option to set a daily reminder to close the app. Additionally, there will be a new feature allowing users to mute push notifications from anywhere from 15 minutes to 8 hours. That makes it easy to mute during the work day, when studying for exams, or whenever else you are trying to concentrate.

Despite these new features, there isn’t a hard-stop feature to kick you out of the app. As the user, you still have the choice to use the app for however long you wish. These tools aren’t designed to lock you out entirely, but rather send subtle reminders on your site usage.


How will this impact advertisers?

Good question. It’s a new update, so it’s unclear how exactly this new feature will impact usage of the two apps.

It’s understandable for companies to be concerned about ad performance and impressions. One thing that is for certain is advertisers will need to be mindful of the new feature and how they are working to target their audiences.

Assuming some users might spend less time on the Instagram and Facebook apps, you could predict they will be more engaged during their shortened sessions on these apps. Therefore, companies will need to rethink their advertising strategies and how they’re planning on getting their ads noticed.


The rise of digital wellness

The “time well spent movement” might just be the beginning of a powerful social media trend. Google and Apple have both announced digital wellness efforts as well.

Large media and technology companies are realizing the negative impacts of obsessive social media use. Studies upon studies have proven social media obsession and addiction can lead to negative impacts on mental health.

Leaders of these platforms feel responsible for our smartphone addictions and are taking matters into their own hands. This means we have exciting features to look forward to, including managing the number of notifications we receive, putting our phones on “do not disturb” during nighttime hours, and weekly activity summaries.

Whether or not these new features actually make a difference in our smartphone usage behaviors, it’s encouraging to at least see these companies taking initiative. 

Emma Komrska
Junior Analyst

Emma Komrska hails from Cincinnati, OH and is so ready to enjoy her first summer in Chicago. She loves the Cincinnati Bearcats, bagels, and—her guilty pleasure—watching YouTube videos.

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