The social media giant Facebook is working on a new tool that will help users track how much time they have spent on the social networking site. This feature, dubbed as Your Time on Facebook, has been discovered after an examination of the mobile application of the social media platform. This functionality shares several similar features with the Usage Insights feature that is currently being developed by Instagram, which is a subsidiary of the social media giant. The functionality details how much time people viewed Facebook on their mobile phones per day and it also shows the average number of minutes that users spent on the social media platform in the last seven days. This new feature also enables users to set how many minutes they will spend on Facebook per day. Once users reach the time limit, the app will show a notification reminding them of their self-imposed limitation. Furthermore, this feature also permits users to activate the "Do Not Disturb" mode and modify the kinds of notifications that the application will show to the user.
These recent efforts by the social media giant are likely influenced by a number of new studies that show the impact of the time spent by users on their smartphones and on social media platforms on their overall well-being. One recent study showed that the time spent by teenagers on their smartphones are correlated with the increase in cases of suicide and depression, while another recent study discovered that there is also an association between the rise in cases of anxiety among users who are 30 years of age and older and the amount of time they consumed on social media.
Aside from Instagram and Facebook, an increasing number of tech companies already recognize the importance of letting users know how much time they have spent online and on their smartphones. Google recently introduced the Digital Wellbeing initiative, which aims to reduce the number of features that could cause distractions. Under this initiative, the search giant will also introduce features into its applications and into the Android operating system that should help users monitor how much time they have spent on their mobile devices.