I’m sure it’s all marketing, but I feel like Instagram is Facebook’s good twin. Whereas Facebook lets bigoted memes stay up even after they’re reported, Instagram actively works on ways to improve the community experience, whether it’s rolling out virtual prom features for high school seniors or removing the likes count so users’ mental health doesn’t get so affected by a virtual dick-measuring contest. On Tuesday, Instagram announced new features that aim to help fight online bullying.
One of the new features helps people manage unwanted interactions. If users find themselves flooded with negative comments on a post, Instagram is rolling out the ability for users “to delete comments in bulk, as well as block or restrict multiple accounts that post negative comments.” I can think of at least one influencer who probably wished this feature was put in place oh, about a month and a half ago.
A Facebook company spokesperson said, “Early feedback has been encouraging, and we’ve found that it helps people, especially with larger followings, maintain a positive environment on their account.” Accounts dedicated to calling out celebrities and other high-profile individuals are going to have to work a lot faster to screenshot now, since this feature will be out starting today.
In addition to making it easier to delete comments from trolls, Instagram is also allowing users to highlight positive comments. “Soon,” the Facebook spokesperson said, “we’ll begin testing Pinned Comments.” You’ll soon be allowed to pin “a select number of comments” to the top of your comments thread, similar to how you can pin comments in an Instagram Live. I, for one, cannot wait to use this on my thirst traps. While the pinned comments are currently in the testing phase, the spokesperson for Facebook tells Betches, “we’ll look to roll out globally in the coming weeks.”
Finally, Instagram will soon allow users to choose who can tag and mention them. As the spokesperson explained, “We’ve seen that tags and mentions can be used to target or bully others, so we’re rolling out new controls that allow you to manage who can tag or mention you on Instagram.” With the new feature, you’ll be able to choose whether you want everyone, only people you follow, or no one to be able to tag or mention you in a comment, caption, or Story. The tagging screening will also be available for users to take advantage of starting Tuesday, and I’m hoping that if nothing else, this severely reduces the number of spam Rayban giveaways we all get tagged in.
Overall, these features will help users maintain a more positive community on their pages, and hopefully limit trolling. Now when will I be able to search to see if my crush watched my Instagram Story?? This is great, Instagram, but can we focus now on giving the people what they really want?
Images: Courtesy of Instagram; alex bracken / Unsplash