Facebook is helping ensure that people don’t spend too much time on its platform while practicing social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, adding Quiet Mode features to the Your Time on Facebook activity monitoring tools it introduced in August 2018.
Facebook said in a blog post Thursday, “As we all adjust to new routines and staying home, setting boundaries for how you spend your time online can be helpful. Whether it’s to help you focus on your family and friends, sleep without distraction 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.”
Quiet Mode can be activated manually or scheduled, and people can schedule multiple periods of Quiet Mode to reflect sleep time, work time, family time and other events.
When activated, Quiet Mode mutes most push notifications, mutes targeted tab badges (notification badges from areas on Facebook such as Marketplace and Facebook Watch) and displays a bypass screen if the user tries to access the Facebook application during Quiet Mode. People can opt to continue past the bypass screen and access the app.
Facebook also added shortcuts to its notification settings and News Feed preferences to better enable people to control the types of posts they see in their News Feeds, as well as the updates they receive.
The activity dashboard in the social network’s Your Time on Facebook tools now provides people with data including times per day that the Facebook app was used on that particular device over the past week, as well as that same information broken out by day (6 a.m. to 10 p.m.) and night (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.).
Facebook said these updates began rolling out globally on iOS Thursday and will continue over the next month, with Android to follow in May.
The social network also revealed other moves on the well-being front.
The company is donating $2 million to support crisis helplines, including to: Vibrant Emotional Health, which operates the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the U.S.; Canada’s Kids Help Phone; India’s iCall Psychosocial Helpline; Samaritans in the U.K.; and Brazil’s Centro de Valorização da Vida.
Facebook is also adding tips from the World Health Organization to its Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information Center on how people can take care of themselves, stay active, relieve stress and establish new goals and routines while remaining at home.
Information on how to connect to local crisis hotlines will be available, as well, and similar tips from the National Alliance on Mental Illness will be available on Instagram.
Netflix created an Instagram Live series, Wanna Talk About It?, in which stars will team up with experts from organizations such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Crisis Text Line, Mental Health America, NAMI and The Trevor Project to discuss how they’re coping during social distancing and ways to handle anxiety, stress and feelings of isolation.
Facebook said it is also working on a separate Instagram Live series with NAMI to encourage conversations about mental health and promote activities to help people stay well.