Facebook adds ‘silent mode’ to help users take a break from the app while stuck at home during coronavirus lock
- Silent mode seems to help users take a break from Facebook
- It will focus on helping people who are trapped in a closed space at home
- Users can set a timer for how long they want to take a break
- When the app is opened in silent mode, users get a notification stopping them
- Facebook also introduced new ways to track usage over a two-week period
A new Facebook feature aims to help users take a break from constant notifications and updates.
Quiet Mode, which is currently being rolled out around the world, lets users plan when they want Facebook to be accessible and also mute notifications for when they just need a break.
When the mode is activated, it also discourages users from entering it. Users who try to use the Facebook app while silent mode is turned on will get a reminder and timer for how long the feature has been on.
Quiet Mode (pictured) is a new tool from Facebook designed to help users take a break from the social platform and is specifically a response to COVID-19 isolation orders
Of course, users can choose to disable the mode and are allowed to use Facebook for 15 minutes, but putting additional barriers between users and the app can discourage its use.
“As we all adapt to new routines and stay at home, it can be helpful to set limits on how you spend your time online,” Facebook wrote in a blog post.
“Whether it’s to help you focus on your family and friends, sleep without distractions, or manage how you spend your time at home, we have tools that can help you find the right balance for how you use Facebook.”
The tool will be similar to the tools already available in mobile operating systems such as Apple’s iOS, which are called ‘Screen Time’ controls.
What makes Facebook’s rollout remarkable about Apple’s current controls is that the company appears to position the tools as a way to improve mental health during widespread isolation measures caused by COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people around the world to adapt to new routines, deal with loneliness, job losses, grief and more. And it’s difficult for all of us in different ways, not only physically but also mentally, ”the company writes in a blog post.
“To help, we share expert tips for staying healthy, we support the work of mental health organizations, and we give you tools to manage your time on Facebook.”
Time management tools are linked to usage statistics that show when users open the app and how long they are active
In addition to the in-app controls, Facebook also expands usage statistics for users who will show things like what time you use the Facebook app, how long and more over a two week period.
The company says it is rolling out silent mode for users on iOS and has plans to extend it to Android users by June.
It expects the feature to be generally available to all iOS users by May, while Android users will get the feature in June.