Controlling your Instagram feed is about to get a whole lot easier.
The social media platform announced a new feature they plan to roll out in the coming weeks that will allow users to remove specific accounts’ stories and posts from their Instagram feeds. It’s been a perk Facebook has been offering to its members for years now and recently, Snapchat utilized the same idea for an update to their app. The mute button on Instagram will let users block content from accounts they just don’t want to see without alerting the people that follow them or forcing users to unfollow accounts whose content they’ve blocked.
The way it works is relatively straight-forward. When users come across a post they don’t want to see on their feed, they’ll select the three dots at the top right corner of the photo or video. From there, they’ll be given the same prompts as before — report, unfollow, and a variety of share options — with the addition of a “mute” tab. When someone clicks the mute button, they’ll be asked to confirm whether they want to mute just the posts of the selected account or the posts and the stories of the user in question.
If you decide to change your mind about muting someone’s posts, you can always unmute them the same way and if you still want to see certain posts from an account, you can simply visit their profile. You’ll still be following each other so even if their account is set to private, you’ll be able to see any posts you’d like.
The feature comes as Instagram continues to explore new ways of setting themselves apart from competitors like Snapchat and Facebook. With both of those social media platforms embroiled in controversy — Facebook’s struggling to manage a data mining scandal and Snapchat as debuted questionable updates that haven’t been received well by its users — Instagram is looking to capitalize on the timing and recruit new members with bonus additions like story-telling capabilities and settings that allow users to carefully-cultivate their feeds.
This mute option is the closest we might come to be able to control what we see on the platform. Instagram has tried organizing posts by date, relevancy, boost history, and a handful of similar algorithms, and it comes at a time when other social media companies are grasping for ways to give users the specific content they want to see without ads and spam getting in the way.