Facebook and Instagram introduce new tools to help limit social media usage

Facebook Android app

Facebook has announced a series of new tools that will help Facebook and Instagram users better manage the time they spend on the platforms.

Users can access these tools by visiting the ‘Settings’ tab in either app. Tapping ‘Your Activity’ on Instagram or ‘Your Time on Facebook’ on Facebook will bring up a dashboard showing the user’s average usage time in each app.

Below the dashboard is an option to set a daily reminder to alert users when they’ve reached the maximum amount of time they want to spend in the apps. Reminders can be changed or cancelled at any time.

Finally, a new ‘Mute Push Notifications’ option has been added to the ‘Notification Settings’ tab to let users limit Facebook or Instagram notifications for a set period of time.

Facebook and Instagram usage

Facebook says it developed the tools based on collaboration with mental health experts and organizations, as well as feedback from its worldwide community.

“We want the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram to be intentional, positive and inspiring,” Facebook wrote in a blog post. “Our hope is that these tools give people more control over the time they spend on our platforms and also foster conversations between parents and teens about the online habits that are right for them.”

Facebook says the updates are rolling out to its Facebook and Instagram apps “soon.”

Facebook’s new tools are part of a larger push in the tech industry to help consumers cut back on excessive usage. In May, Google unveiled an ‘Android Dashboard’ feature coming to Android P that provides users with helpful usage information and allows them to limit app usage. Apple followed suit in June by revealing Screentime, an app that provides similar comprehensive statistics and limitation tools.