Another day, another Instagram update. Following in the footsteps of other social media titans like Twitter and Facebook, Instagram announced on Tuesday that users will be receiving a new tool in the coming weeks: a mute button. It will function similarly to Twitter's mute button or Facebook's unfollow option: you can take someone's photos out of your newsfeed without actually unfollowing them altogether. But as for how to see who mutes you on Instagram, well, you may just have to take your best guess.
Instagram announced today on it's press page that it would be introducing "mute," which the company described as "a new way to control what posts you see." The release continued: "The new feature lets you hide posts in feed from certain accounts, without unfollowing them. With this change, you can make your feed even more personalized to what matters to you." The release explained that muting works as follows:
- You can mute an account by tapping the "menu" in the corner of someone's post.
- You can then choose whether to mute the posts, or mute posts and stories from that account.
- You can also mute by pressing and holding on a story in your tray, or from a profile.
- You can always unmute someone if you change your mind.
- You can still see their photos on their profile page.
- You can still see their comments, or if they tag you in photos.
- The mute option will be available sometime in the next 3 weeks.
However, there's no discernible information about whether or not you can see who has muted you. Most likely, it will function similarly to how other muting options work: you can't know for sure, but if someone stops liking or viewing your stories consistently (despite your handle still being in their follower list) something might be up.
This is the latest in a slew of new and exciting developments that Instagram is reportedly set to release. Earlier this month, TechCrunch reported that the app had added a payment feature that allows users to register their debit or credit cards and purchase tagged items on posts directly through the app. (Yes, this does mean what you think it does: you can now shop influencers' looks directly from their photos.) Instagram Director of Product Vishal Shah told CNBC:
We're taking steps to turn Instagram from not just a place of business discovery but really a place where business can get done.
Harper's Bazaar also reported on Sunday that the app would be releasing something called a "usage insight," which is essentially a monitor that can tell you how much time you've spent on the app. It will be called "time spent," the Instagram CEO confirmed on Twitter on May 15. "We're building tools that will help the IG community know more about the time they spend on Instagram — any time should be positive and intentional," he said, after replying to a TechCrunch story that released the news.
The move seems to mirror Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's sentiment when he shared the reason for his site's algorithm change. On Jan. 11, he shared: “I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down. But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.”
It seems that Instagram and companies like it are making an intentional effort to ensure that users' experiences add something positive to their lives. Whether that's monitoring how much time they spend scrolling, making it easier to cop their favorite account's style recommendations, or even silencing some users who they could stand to hear a little less of, it seems like the trend is moving toward ensuring a more positive and efficient experience for everyone, and that is something everyone can totally get behind.