Facebook is reportedly testing the ability to turn off the red dot appearing in-app notifications that seem to pop up every time you check Facebook on your phone. This could make Facebook feel calmer, and will also keep you focused on whatever you actually opened the app to do.
“It’s related to the work we’re doing with the well-being team. We’re thinking about how people spend their time in the app and making sure that it’s time well spent” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Facebook now confirms to TechCrunch that this is a new global test that started recently on iOS and Android for a subset of users. “We are testing new ways to give people more control over the notifications they receive in the Facebook app” a spokesperson said.
The bright red dots also known as badges appear on the mobile app’s home screen, perhaps to alert you of a new video or new activity in one of your groups. Occasionally the alerts are redundant; popping up for a video you’ve already seen. The notification dots have drawn the ire of plenty of Facebook users — there are scores of videos and how-to-articles instructing how to get rid of them.
If you have access to this feature test, you’ll find the option in your Facebook app under the three-lined More/Menu tab -> Settings & Privacy -> Settings -> Notifications -> Notification Dots. There you can “Choose which shortcuts will show you notifications dots” with options for “Videos On Watch”, “Profile”, “Groups”, “Menu”.
It seems like Facebook is thinking long and hard about how to help users better tailor the mobile experience and avoid needless distractions.