Google is worried about your digital health. More specifically, your addiction to watching hours upon hours of YouTube videos.
The search engine giant’s video giant, YouTube — the second most trafficked website in the world, right after, you guessed it, Google — is rolling out a new feature on iOS and Android devices that will track how much time you spend watching videos on the platform.
In an announcement post titled Tools to Take Charge of Your Digital Wellbeing, YouTube states that its “goal is to provide a better understanding of time spent on YouTube, so you can make informed decisions about how you want YouTube to best fit into your life.”
When YouTube rolls out the feature to your account, you’ll be able to sign into the website, go to your account menu, and click through to "time watched." Once there, you'll be able to see how many minutes or hours you’ve spent viewing YouTube videos today, yesterday, and the past week, along with a daily average.
There are a few caveats to this new feature. Time watched stats are based on your watch history. So if your YouTube watch history is disabled, those statistics won’t be tracked. Videos deleted from YouTube and any videos watched while a user is in incognito mode will also go untracked. In addition, the time watched feature will include your YouTube TV watch time but not your YouTube Music usage.
This tracking feature is the site's latest digital wellbeing tool, as YouTube points out; they can now all be found together on the same page. Others include YouTube notification management and the ability to set reminders via pop-up to let you know when it’s time to take a break from watching your favorite channels.
YouTube is just the latest platform to offer something to help users track and manage their internet addiction. Earlier this month, Facebook and Instagram rolled out time management features to help users follow their social media usage on those sites.
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