Knowledge is power, but it can also be frightening, in a sobering kind of way. Have you ever wondered how much time you spend online, and specifically on Facebook? That’s something you might not want to know, especially if you fire up the social network’s app on your phone several times throughout the day. If you are curious, however, it looks like Facebook will soon oblige by introducing a new ‘Your Time on Facebook’ tool.
This has not been released yet, or even announced by Facebook. Nevertheless, it will eventually com to fruition, as the unreleased tool was discovered in Facebook’s app for Android devices. When selected, the tool shows the average number of minutes per day you’ve spent in Facebook’s app over the past week, as well as a daily breakdown of minutes spent in each of the past seven days.
Click to Enlarge (Source: Twitter via Jane Manchun Wong)
Time has a way of slipping through the fingertips when doing anything online. Facebook in particular can consume an overall large portion of a person’s time, often in various chunks throughout the day. Whether that is a good or bad thing depends on how you use Facebook, such as keeping in touch with friends and family (positive) or getting in one argument after another (negative). Facebook told TechCruch it’s “always working on new ways to help make sure people’s time on Facebook is time well spent,” hence why it is developing this tool.
Knowing how much time you’ve spent on Facebook doesn’t accomplish that by itself. Instead, it’s a simple metric that people can use to help evaluate how much they are benefiting from Facebook, versus the time spent on the social network. It will also provide users with a Daily Reminder setting. So for example if you want to limit yourself to 30 minutes of Facebook time per day, you can configure the app to notify you once you’ve reached that limit.
One thing that is not clear is how exactly the tool measures your time on Facebook. Specifically, it’s not known if the timer stops the moment you minimize the app (versus closing it out altogether) or if it continues to count minutes while running the background. It also does not appear to discern between active and passive engagement.
Facebook hasn’t said when the tool will be released, though we imagine it’s coming soon.