Facebook and Instagram are launching a set of tools to help users manage their time on the social media platforms.

Encouraging healthy use of their platforms has long been a priority for Facebook and Instagram, according to Facebook's global announcement.

"We developed these tools based on collaboration and inspiration from leading mental health experts and organisations, academics, our own extensive research and feedback from our community," Facebook said in its announcement.

"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."


The three tools, listed below, will be available in the coming weeks:

• a dashboard that shows the average time people have spent in the app, on that device, in the past week.
• a customisable daily time reminder, a timer you can set to give you an alert when you've exceeded what you think is an appropriate amount of time on the app.
• a mute notifications setting to limit notifications.

According to a Mosh Social Media report released in September last year on Facebook in New Zealand, Facebook is New Zealand's second most popular online destination, trailing only Google Search.

Latest figures from Facebook show it has 3.2 million monthly average users in New Zealand, while Instagram has 1.5 million.

In addition, Facebook users in New Zealand reportedly spend an average of 10 hours and 43 minutes a month on the platform.

How to use:

To access the new tools, go to the settings page on either app. For 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.

Below the dashboard, you can set a daily reminder to give yourself an alert when you've reached the amount of time you want to spend on that app for that day.


You can change or cancel the reminder at any time.

You can also tap on Notification Settings to quickly access the new do not disturb setting. This will limit your Instagram or Facebook notifications for a period of time when you need to focus.