It’s one of Facebook’s techniques for grabbing your attention and keeping you glued to its mobile app – red notification alerts that appear over the Friends, Groups and Marketplace tabs. They can be deeply annoying, especially when there’s no clear reason for them appearing, but now it looks like Facebook might provide us with a way to turn them off.
App specialist Jane Machun Wong discovered a series of switches in the app’s settings that will let you disable dots for Groups, Marketplace, Profile and Menu.
TechCrunch has since received confirmation that the new toggles are being tested publicly, and are available to a handful of users on iOS and Android.
Driven to distraction
This new change may be part of Facebook’s stated aim to ensure that time surfing the site is “time well spent”.
Last year, the company introduced a new feature called Your Time on Facebook, which lets you see how long you’re spending each day scrolling through the endless photos of family birthdays and dog videos on your timeline.
Hopefully the ability to disable the dots will have a similar effect, making the app feel less demanding and helping users (particularly kids) know when it’s time to log off.