What are the latest digital wellness tools from YouTube, Facebook and Instagram?

The amount of time we spend on social media is constantly increasing, leading to concerns about the rise of social media addiction. In 2017, daily social media usage of global internet users amounted to 135 minutes per day. YouTube, Facebook and Instagram have all recently responded to the growing concerns over social media addiction with the launch of new tools that enable you to see how much time you have spent on the sites, as well as set future limits.

YouTube “Take a Break”

YouTube now allows you to set limits on your viewing and will send you a notification to “take a break” as soon as you’ve reached that limit. With this feature, available from the latest version of YouTube’s mobile app Settings screen, you’d be able to set a reminder to appear every 15, 30, 60, 90 or 180 minutes, at which point the video will pause.

Another new feature the music app has rolled out is one that lets you disable notification sounds during specific time of the day. Let’s say that you know you’re in a meeting on Monday from 10am to 3pm, you can disable them during that time.

And finally, YouTube will soon start displaying your daily average usage of the app and how long you’ve watched videos on the app today, yesterday and over the past week.

Facebook & Instagram

Facebook has launched new tools to help you manage the time you spend on the platform and on Instagram: an activity dashboard, a daily reminder and a new way to limit push notifications.

To access the tools, go to the settings page on either app. On Instagram tap “Your Activity,” and on Facebook – “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 might have also noticed the “You’re All Caught Up” sign while scrolling on Instagram. This is to let you know that you’ve seen all new posts from the past 48 hours.


For iPad and iPhone users, Apple in iOS 12 has introduced a feature called Screen Time to help combat smartphone addiction. The feature will send you weekly reports that reveal how much time you spend on your device.

Parents will also be able to limit app usage on their children’s phones via the service. You can also read our top tips on how to limit your children’s screen time here.

Do you have any questions on the new digital wellness tools introduced by social media companies and are you going to activate them? Share you experience by tweeting us @JustAskGemalto.