So finally Facebook kept its word! Almost 15 weeks after its announcement of “Your Time on Facebook” tool that counts how many minutes users have spend on the app, the feature is finally rolling out around the world. Initially aimed to manage the social networking, the dashboard reveals how many minutes users have spent on Facebook’s app on that device each day for the past week and on average.
Users would now have the access to set a daily limit and receive a reminder to stop after that many minutes each day, plus access shortcuts to notification, News Feed and Friend Request settings. The last two shortcuts are new, but otherwise the feature works the same as when it was previewed. Users would be now able to access it by going to Facebook’s More tab -> Settings & Privacy -> Your Time on Facebook.
Facebook had initially started working on this feature since June. It also gave some explanation for the delayed access to the feature, with spokespeople adding that, “We typically roll out features slowly so we can catch bugs early and resolve them quickly. We slowed the rollout of the tools after launch so our teams could fix a few bugs before we expanded globally,” and that “the tools will continue rolling out over the next few weeks.”
Users might find this similar to the new ‘Your Activity’ feature that was introduced in Instagram last week. However, this ‘Your Time on Facebook’ dashboard displays a graph showing the exact time users have spent on the social network’s app over the past week.
To access it, users need to launch the app on Android or iOS device, then tap the hamburger icon on the top right corner, and scroll to the head to the Settings & Privacy section. Then, a tap ‘Your time on Facebook’, shows the time limit.
In addition, users might as well set a reminder to alert users after they have crossed a daily time limit that they specify. Here’s what the notification looks like:
In addition users also have the access to unfollow friends and Pages to cut News Feed down to size. The interface for this function is well thought out, and simply requires users to tap on avatars to quickly unfollow them.
That is how the entire feature works. Frankly speaking, there is no way to restrict access to specific portions of the social network that users are addicted to, like photo albums or Groups. Thus it can also be stated that the ‘Friends on Facebook’ section simply brings up a list of pending friend requests and suggestions. So, how it would actually help to manage the time spent in the app is a question.
However, fingers crossed, this segmentation might still give users a much clearer view of where they are spending or wasting hours, and what they could do to make their usage healthier. Hopefully with time, Facebook gives the dashboard more nuance so we can track not just time, but also the time well spent.