YouTube is making it very easy to see how much time you spend watching videos
In keeping with Google’s push into digital well-being, YouTube is continuing to roll out more tools that give users a clearer overview of their usage habits. When users open their account menu, they’ll now see an updated profile that shows the amount of time they’ve viewed videos that day, the previous day, and over the last week.
“Our 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,” the company wrote in its blog post. YouTube pulls these stats from your watch history, so if you’ve got that option disabled for privacy reasons, it’s not entirely clear if you’ll get the usage breakdown or not. We’ve asked YouTube for clarification. Hopefully, the service is at least smart enough to know when you’re watching something and calculate that time.
YouTube Music and YouTube TV do not count toward the “time watched” profile.
The new, more thorough user profile comes in addition to other recent features YouTube has rolled out to help its users “better understand their tech usage, focus on what matters most and disconnect when needed.”
The service has already added optional reminders to take a break during extended viewing, and you can also choose to streamline all of your usual YouTube notifications into a condensed, once-per-day “digest” that pings your device at a time of your choosing. By default, YouTube now silences notifications — so they won’t cause sounds or phone vibrations — between the hours of 10PM and 8AM. You can opt to disable this or adjust the quiet notification hours to your own schedule.
YouTube joins other tech giants, including parent company Google, Apple, Facebook, and Instagram, in adding greater detail and transparency about the minutes and hours that people can spend using their apps daily. As always, acting on the information is up to you, but at least it’s now readily accessible.