Time-Policing Is Live on Instagram; Focuses on Screen Zombies Who Spend Too Much Time on The Apps and Are Susceptible to Suicide, Bullying and Fake News
Last week, I was talking to a few VPs of Product Marketing, for the Interview Series, about the validity of 30-second videos and their performance! Looks like, Facebook heard it all… (speculation!) After an unknown source leaked screenshots from the Time Well-Spent movement in June, we knew this feature was obviously going live; but not when. It came a month too soon, I guess.
Facebook Declares Time-Policing is Real and It’s Screen versus Life
Focus on preventing suicides, mental illness, live accidents, cyberbullying, trolling, and fake news
After Scroll-Free September and shadow ban hysteria last month, it’s Facebook’s turn to police the time spent on Instagram and keeps zombie scrollers out of ad analytics and marketing metrics. Facebook and Instagram have adopted a new screen-time analytics technology to help people manage their time, data and interactions judiciously on social media.
The latest Instagram update features an activity dashboard and a reminder of how much time you have spent and the number of notifications seen. Seen as a step to keep screen zombies and cold scrollers away from social gazing, the new technology has come about after Facebook’s had hours of discussions with mental health experts and organizations.
At the time of this announcement, Aaron Brooks, Co-Founder of Vamp said, “New screen-time management dashboards have started to appear for users in the US and will be rolled out over the coming weeks. The feature will show users how much time they have spent on the app (desktop time not included) and alerts can be set to self-regulate use.”
In their latest blog, Ameet Ranadive, Product Management Director at Instagram and David Ginsberg, Director of Research at Facebook said, “We have a responsibility to help people understand how much time they spend on our platforms so they can better manage their experience. In December 2017, we shared insights about what the team at Facebook is doing to create experiences that help people connect and build relationships.”
Aaron continued, “Research agrees, we’ve turned into a generation of zombie scrollers and with social media here to stay, and the majority of us benefiting from it socially or professionally, it’s important we find a way to have it as part of our lives in a healthy way, particularly with the explosion of virtual reality imminent.”
Brands have a tough road ahead, as Facebook has launched a new set of dashboards for the Instagram app to wean users away from spending too much time on their feeds. For parents and medical experts, this is a welcome step. For marketers, it means that you have to now fight with Facebook’s advertising standards to actually feature in the limited scroll time that users may choose to opt for, once they choose auto cut-offs on their social engagements.
It is evident that Facebook’s collaboration with Scholastic and The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Stand for Children, Harvard’s Making Caring Common and other experts to develop “kindness” curriculum and launch the Kind Schools Challenge, have enabled Facebook’s technology team to draw on their analytics in developing the time-spent dashboard, starting with Instagram.
Wanted to Check Screen Time? Look To IGTV!
Goodies for social media and customers alike!!!
At the launch of IGTV last month, Aaron had mentioned how Instagram had successfully managed to cover for Facebook.
Then, Aaron said, “The launch of IGTV is really exciting because it now means that Instagram covers all the bases. Influencers will be able to post photos and videos to their feed, make Stories that last for 24 hours, stream live videos and make these new 60 minute ‘TV shows.”
In addition to the time-spent analytics, the social advertising platform also reiterated their commitment to improve News Feeds and deliver more relevant posts that proactively suggest what you should follow, and what not, based on your choices and historical scrolling patterns. On Instagram, you now have the option to see “You Are All Caught Up” message, in addition to blocking offensive content and turning on ‘bullying’ filters.
Facebook has said that it’s part of their ongoing mission to prevent suicides and wean teens and kids from staring at their screens for a very long time.
Facebook, Your Attention Please!
To make social media safer and more productive for customers, these are the five things that the Product Marketing Teams at Facebook and Instagram should do in the future—
- Provide Instagram users with Time-Spent analytics on which profiles they stare and stalk the most!
- Video time-spent analytics for each feed
- News versus Videos versus Social Posts – which did the best?
- Suicide Prevention Messaging (much like “I am Safe” notifications)
- Build filters and send notifications on post-duplication, screenshot sharing, and Fake News alerts.
In this drive, we sense AI and machine learning labs could play a much bigger part, especially attributing to technologies like AI for video search, content discovery, audio detection, and semantic analytics. Let’s hope that marketers can deliver their best in the small window available on Instagram and Facebook.