Facebook launches new feature to tell users exactly how long they spend on it

Tool also allows people to cut down on the pages and friends they connect with

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 21 November 2018 09:49 GMT
A car passes by Facebook's corporate headquarters location in Menlo Park, California, on March 21, 2018
A car passes by Facebook's corporate headquarters location in Menlo Park, California, on March 21, 2018 (JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

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Facebook has launched a tool that will horrify people into spending less time on the site.

The new "Your Time On Facebook" tool allows people to see exactly how long they spend there – and intends to make it easier for people to stop.

It displays all of the data in the graph that allows users to see their time spent on Facebook through the week, as well as an average of how long they have spent in the app.

As well as that graph, the page includes options to "manage your time". Those are intended to make it easier to cut down on how much time you spend there.

That includes a feature where users can set a daily reminder when they've gone over the amount of time they want to spend on Facebook. That reminder can be for whatever amount of time, and can be easily dismissed when it arrives – but is intended as a quick way of nudging yourself to get off the app.

But it also allows people to easily unfollow pages and unfriend people so that their news feed is a more healthy place to be. Clicking that option will show a host of pages that you might want to hide from your timeline, for instance.

The new tool works much like the "Your Activity" page that was recently launched on Instagram. A range of different companies – including both Google in Android and Apple for iOS – have launched similar tools, graphing usage in an attempt to ensure that people are using the services safely.

It comes amid increasing concern about the damage social networks and other technology are doing to the people who use them.

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