real life

Get ready to feel guilty: Instagram will now tell you exactly how long you've been scrolling.

It’s safe to say that Instagram is one of our favourite ways to kill time.

I wake up and I scroll… and scroll… and scroll. When I reach the bottom of my feed and feel up-to-date with what my favourite influencers have been up to, the sun is setting and the day is gone.


I’ve wasted countless hours on the ‘Gram. But I’ve never known exactly how many hours, and therefore lived blissfully unaware of just how much I use the app.

Until now. Because it will soon tell you.

Instagram and Facebook have announced new tools to help people manage their time on the platforms, including an activity dashboard, a new way to limit notifications and a daily reminder tool.

In a blog post, Instagram Product Management Director Ameet Ranadive and Facebook Director of Research David Ginsberg said the tools, which will be rolled out “soon” on both platforms, were developed based on collaboration and inspiration from leading mental health experts, organisations and academics, as well as their own research and feedback from the community.

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

“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.”

You will be able to access the tools through the settings page on either app. On Instagram, select “Your Activity” and on Facebook select “Your Time on Facebook.”

There you will see a dashboard showing your average time for that app on that device, and you can tap any bar to see your total time for that day.

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, and also mute your push notifications for a period of time to help you focus, or if you need a detox.

New Instagram and Facebook updates will show you how long you've spent on each app. Eek. Image via Instagram.

It seems the days of pretending I don't spend too much time looking at memes are over.

I'm thankful they've given us advanced warning. Now's the time to cut down on social media usage - that way, it won't look so bad when the update actually arrives.

The new tools follow past updates introduced to help people better control their experiences on Instagram and Facebook.

Instagram introduced the "You're All Caught Up" message in Feed, keyword filters and offensive comment and bullying filters.

Facebook has introduced features like See First, Hide, Unfollow and Keyword Snooze.