What Facebook’s New Time Alerts Mean For Digital Marketers

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940 788 Claire Archer-Davis

Over the past month of so Facebook have been rolling out a new update to users which shows them just how long that they have spent on social media that day.Both Instagram and Facebook users can use the new time management tools to see how long they’ve been online, and even set a daily reminder to let you know that you’ve been on the websites for too long.

To access the tools when they are available users can find the “Your Time on Facebook” option in the settings menu, while Instagram users can find it in settings under “Your Activity”. Once you have clicked on the option you will be able to see how long you’ve spent on the apps or websites with a daily average and a chart breaking your activity down by week day. Daily reminders will let you know when you’ve been on for a certain amount of time, and you can also temporarily mute push notifications if you want a break for social media altogether.

This feature may seem a little counterintuitive for Facebook as it might encourage users to stop spending so long scrolling through cat memes, but it’s actually all a part of Mark Zuckerburg’s 2018 plan which is to make time spent on Facebook and Instagram ‘time well spent’ and full of engagement and learning for the user rather than what is called ‘passive consumption’. It is this increasement of engagement that will serve Zuckerburg well, and in turn, serve digital marketers well if they play their cards right.

Instagram’s Ameet Ranadive and Facebook’s David Ginsberg wrote the following in a blog post about the new tools:

“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. 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.”

So, with people presumably not spending as much time on social media apps due to these alerts, how can digital marketers react to these changes?

Make better content
This one should go without saying, and all digital marketers should be making the highest quality content available at all times, but if you’re making rubbish content to post online, now is the time to step up your game! With users spending less time on social media platforms, you need to make sure that if they choose to look at your content, that you aren’t wasting their time.

Stand out from the crowd
With users spending less time scrolling through social media, you need to do something to make your content stand out. Whether that’s covering stories first; using eye-catching images or getting an interesting perspective, make sure you are being creative and thinking out of the box. Most websites and companies these days tend to copy each other and it gets boring, so take a risk!

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Claire Archer-Davis

All stories by: Claire Archer-Davis