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How to use the new tool that shows you how long you spend on Facebook

Key Points
  • Facebook just launched a new tool that lets you see how long you spend inside the iPhone or Android app.
  • You can also use it to get an alert after you've spent more than your allotted time in the app.
  • Here's how to see how long you spend using the Facebook app on your phone.
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Facebook just launched a new tool that shows you how long you spend browsing the Facebook app on your phone. It also lets you set a time limit so that you receive an automatic reminder if you've spent more than you allot for yourself each day.

It's handy, especially if you're worried about spending too much time looking at your phone.

This is new for the Facebook app, but Apple and Google have launched initiatives that try to show you how long you spend using apps, too. Apple's tool is called Screen Time and launched for iPhones and iPads in iOS 12 in September. Google's is called Digital Wellbeing and is available on its Pixel phones.

However, if you don't have an iPhone or one of Google's Pixel phones, you weren't able to check how much time you were spending on Facebook until now. The feature is still rolling out to users, so it might not be immediately available.

Here's how to use it:

You'll see a screen that looks like this:

You can see how much time you spend in the Facebook app each day.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

It shows that I've only spent an average of 18 minutes on Facebook per day, which isn't too bad. I've spent less than that on Facebook today.

You can also choose the "Set a Daily Reminder" option, which is on that screen and sends you an alert once you've used Facebook more than the time limit you set.

It looks like this:

You can also set limits on how long you use the app before it reminds you to take a break.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

The tool has other settings that let you manage notifications and edit news feed preferences, such as prioritizing who you see first, or unfollowing people to hide their posts. The latter might help you cut down how much time you spend on Facebook.

Apple's and Google's tools might be more powerful for users who want to cut down on app usage, since they can prevent you from opening an app altogether if you've used it too long. Plus, they show you far more than just Facebook usage. Finally, this feature doesn't account for time you spend on Facebook's website, just the app.

Try it, and you might be surprised how long you spend on Facebook.

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