Social media giant Facebook is testing a new option of notification customization in order to make the elements present on its platform less distracting. According to a recent report that has surfaced online, Facebook is currently testing its ability to turn on and off the red notification dots on its platform that you get for various individual tabs. For those unaware, these are also known as badges. This should be useful for many. Not everyone is interested in what’s happening at Watch or Groups, so in a way, it’s distracting to see these badges on the top of the mobile app.
This development was found by app researcher and reverse-engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong. A report in TechCrunch said that Facebook is conducting a global experiment on its iOS as well as Android platforms. Speaking to the technology website, a Facebook spokesperson said, “We are testing new ways to give people more control over the notifications they receive in the Facebook app.”
The spokesperson also said that Facebook is aware of the fact that users don’t have to be reminded again and again that notifications are waiting for them. This is particularly true because now there are options of managing how specific app notifications appear with system-level customizations in Android as well as iOS.
Last year, John Herrman wrote an article in New York Times titled ‘How Tiny Red Dots Took Over Your Life’ that spoke about how the new notification design has been made in a way that it actually increases the likelihood of an average smartphone user to tap on an app icon or an in-app icon.
In his article, Herrman said, “What’s so powerful about the dots is that until we investigate them, they could signify anything: a career-altering email; a reminder that Winter Sales End Soon; a match, a date, a ‘we need to talk’.” So, the effect that a small notification can have on our brains can be categorised as hypnotizing to a great extent.
A number of technology companies have lately had awakenings about the kind of effects their apps and services can have on people and even society at large. A lot of companies have also started making efforts to help people manage their relationship with technology in a better and healthier manner. Google‘s Digital Wellbeing and Apple’s Screen Time are two such initiatives that have been taken by technology companies to help us manage our time on our devices.
However, until now, Facebook has not come up with its own way of helping people manage their time better. But then, it is worth pointing out that the social media giant does have dashboards for monitoring usage in the app as well as in Instagram. If it introduces notification customization, it will be another step in the direction of helping its users save their time.
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