As the controversy surrounding Facebook continues to spark public interest, the FB development team is creating a Time Well Spent feature as part of their recent efforts to protect the social media community instead of maximizing profits through meaningful time spent on the platform.
How the Time Well Spent App works
In Facebook’s Android app lies an unreleased “Your Time on Facebook” feature that tallies how much you spent on the Facebook mobile app in the last seven days.
The feature allows users to set self-imposed time limits, which then notifies a user when they’ve reached that limit.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the feature developed in an interview with Tech Crunch, stating “We’re always working on new ways to help make sure people’s time on Facebook is time well spent.”
Time Well Spent Available on Mobile App
iOS and Android will have different screen time monitoring dashboards that can either alert you or lock you out of the app after a set allotment of time.
Instagram has similar plans to launch their own variant of Facebook’s Time Well Spent feature.
“It’s true… We’re building tools that will help the IG community know more about the time they spend on Instagram—any time should be positive and intentional,” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom confirmed in a statement with Tech Crunch. “Understanding how time online impacts people is important, and it’s the responsibility of all companies to be honest about this. We want to be part of the solution. I take that responsibility seriously.”
Why Facebook is Making Changes For Meaningful Engagement
Facebook has slowly been transitioning from the meaningless to the meaningful, encouraging posts that foster conversation and engagement while punishing posts that fail to do this, or “hack” their way to the top of the newsfeed.
“By making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” Zuckerberg wrote during his announcement of various Facebook algorithm newsfeed changes. “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.”
With emphasis on meaningful time and engagement on the platform, Facebook has attempted other features such as having professional news outlets display in an Explore Feed on the platform and introducing a downvote button in the comments sections of posts on Facebook Pages.
Whether these features will have an impact on how users interact on the platform is hard to say, but Zuckerberg seems to be holding fast to his commitment of ensuring that users are spending their time on Facebook meaningfully without falling prey to the pseudo-news practices that have plagued the FB community.
Time Well Spent Feature Recap
What do you think of Facebook’s development of the Time Well Spent feature? I would love to hear your thought’s in the comments section below!