From school playgrounds to offices, social media bombards us from all directions. As industry leaders, YouTube and Facebook have become synonymous with social media. You’ve probably been caught up with the recent Facebook controversy and, like most people, are curious to see how they’ll be making the platform better for users and advertisers in the future. However, with Facebook hogging all the attention, it’s been easy to miss some really exciting developments happening on YouTube.
This global video-sharing website is the second largest search engine in the world! It attracts over 1/3 of Internet users, and it is estimated that over 5 billion videos are viewed on YouTube per day. Statistics show that 60% of people prefer video platforms as opposed to live broadcast television, consuming roughly 1 billion hours of YouTube content daily. It has been reported that digital devices are not only taking a toll on kids but also on families as a whole, and many researchers have found that people lose control of their digital habits and often spiral into damaging behaviour. To counter this dangerous trend, as part of their focus on digital well-being, YouTube has included a nifty new mobile feature to its video service that encourages all users to “take a break” when they have exceeded a specific amount of viewing time in one go. This optional feature is a kind of like a parent scolding a little one for exceeding their television viewing time by showing you a prompt when you lose track of time and have been watching for too long.
You can enable this useful new feature through the Settings menu by selecting ‘Remind me to take a break’. You can choose from options ranging from 15 minutes to 180 minutes. This feature is perfect if you feel like your YouTube addiction is getting in the way of more productive things, because now you can guilt yourself into reducing your activity on this app. Whether it really contributes to digital well-being remains to be seen, but it does provide an easy way of limiting the time we spend on this addictive video service.