Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

How to monitor Facebook and Instagram screen time and limit activity

Published Aug 1st, 2018 10:11AM EDT
Facebook and Instagram
Image: Simon Belcher/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

You probably don’t need your phone or the apps on it how much time you waste looking at the screen, but the ability to monitor usage time is a hot new smartphone feature this year. Apple and Google have built their own tools to tell you how much time you waste on your smartphone or tablet, as well as features that help you reduce screen time. These new iOS and Android features will help you better manage the screen time of your children as well, on top of possibly helping you cure your own smartphone addiction.

But iOS and Android aren’t the only ones to tell you how much time you waste on your phone or computer. Facebook just announced that the mobile apps for Facebook and Instagram will both include new tools to let you manage the time you spend in these apps.

In a new blog post, Facebook and Instagram execs detailed the new activity tracking features.

We want the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram to be intentional, positive and inspiring. 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.

Both apps will include a dashboard that offers you a quick look at your recent activity. You’ll be able to set daily reminders to stop you from abusing Facebook and Instagram usage, and you’ll be able to temporary mute notifications for each app.

On Instagram, you’ll have to tap Your Activity to see the following menus:

Image source: Facebook

On Facebook, go to “Your Time on Facebook” for similar usage statistics:

Image source: Facebook

The interface looks similar to what we’ve seen in iOS 12’s Screen Time feature, and that’s not a surprise. After all, there are only so many ways to display usage and activity on a device. But Facebook will only show data about your activity in its apps, while the operating system usage stats are far more useful.

Facebook says it developed the tools based on “collaboration and inspiration from leading mental health experts and organizations, academics, our own extensive research and feedback from our community.” The features will soon be available in Facebook’s mobile apps, though exact launch dates haven’t yet been specified.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.