New Facebook Time Management Tools to Increase Positive User Engagement
New Facebook time management tools are coming “soon” for the main platform and Instagram and they’re expected to decrease the amount of time users spend on the apps, but increase “intentional, positive and inspiring” engagement, according to a Facebook Newsroom announcement yesterday. This better engagement could benefit marketers, too.
The time management tool announcement comes a week after Facebook’s quarterly earnings call disappointed Wall Street so much it sent tech stocks tumbling. Facebook’s earnings hadn’t met analyst’s expectations, though they grew, and the reasons for the disappointing performance ranged from data privacy issues to less robust user growth and engagement.
Marketers have been complaining for a long time about Facebook’s lowered organic reach for business pages, but many still consider its paid ad targeting and reach great for the cost.
Still, while it may seem counterintuitive for marketers to be pleased about Facebook’s effort to reduce consumer time spent on Facebook and the other popular app the company owns, Instagram, what the announcement says about the positive effects of these time management tools may help them rethink their skepticism.
In yesterday’s Facebook Newsroom post, Ameet Ranadive, product management director at Instagram, and David Ginsberg, research director at Facebook, wrote that Facebook and Instagram will soon roll out an activity dashboard, a daily reminder and a new way to limit notifications:
“We developed these tools based on collaboration and inspiration from leading mental health experts and organizations, academics, our own extensive research and feedback from our community.”
Considering that during his congressional testimony, Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said his company would invest in data privacy tools in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and that did impact the last week’s revenue totals, these time management tools are also likely to be the priority Ranadive and Ginsberg say they are. They write that these tools are a first step:
“We have a responsibility to help people understand how much time they spend on our platforms so they can better manage their experience.”
How Facebook, Instagram Users Will Discover Their Time Spent on the Apps
Ranadive and Ginsberg write:
“On Instagram, tap ‘Your Activity,’ and on Facebook, tap ‘Your Time on Facebook.’ At the top, you’ll see a dashboard showing your average time for that app on that device. Tap any bar to see your total time for that day.”
Updating my Facebook app yesterday, I didn’t yet see the “Your Time on Facebook” option in the app settings and I didn’t see a time management tool listed in Facebook’s announcement regarding Messenger. That’s an app that many marketers say is already outpacing the main Facebook app in user engagement. More and more brands are interacting with users in Messenger now that Facebook allows ad content there.
What Users Will See With the Facebook Time Management Tools
Ranadive and Ginsberg say below the “Your Activity” or “Your Time on Facebook” dashboards, users will be able to set the amount of time they want to spend on the apps per day. The app will then notify them when they’ve reached that amount of time. The post continues:
“You can also tap on ‘Notification Settings’ to quickly access the new ‘Mute Push Notifications’ setting. This will limit your Facebook or Instagram notifications for a period of time when you need to focus.”
App users can also alter or undo these choices at any time.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: Tech Stocks May Tank Today, Facebook Data Debacle Blamed