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Instagram's New Anti-Bullying Features

Instagram Updates: New Anti-Bullying Measures; Engagement In Decline

Instagram Implements New Anti-Bullying Measures

As upsetting as it is, bullying is still a huge part of social media, especially when it comes to the younger generations. Most torments come in the form of hurtful comments on pictures, and it can have a lasting effect. Thankfully, Instagram updates are cracking down on the epidemic by adding new anti-bullying tools.

Taking Precaution

The first prevention tactic comes as an automated warning that pops up if it detects an offensive comment. For instance, if you are about to comment something that feels mean or offensive, a last minute warning will show up asking “Are you sure you want to post this?” Before it posts, you will have the option of taking it back before anyone sees it. Certain words will trigger the tool, and will hopefully get people to rethink the statement they were about to publicize.

As per Instagram:

“This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment, and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification. From early tests of this feature, we have found that it encourages some people to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect.”

“Restriction”

In addition to a moment of reflection, Instagram updates include testing another feature that will allow users to “restrict” other users who appear to be giving them a hard time in the comments. This is different from blocking or removing friends because the act of restricting won’t alert the other user that anything has happened. The reason behind this, per Instagram, is because many people have said they choose not to block or remove people as it would cause too much of a commotion. The restriction feature is supposed to be a more mild version of either of these. 

The only catch in restriction mode is that both the commenter and the commentee can still the comment; the only difference is that other commenters won’t be able to see it. While this is an improvement, it seems to defeat the purpose a little bit since the person who the post belongs to can still see and feel the impact of the hurtful words spoken.

The act of bullying won’t get abolished overnight, but Instagram is doing its best for now. More social media giants should weigh in and maybe join forces. Who knows; that could be the final push needed to make bullying a thing of the past.

Instagram Engagement Rates In Decline

Plenty of businesses flock to Instagram to promote and hopefully sell their products, as it’s quickly turning into an eCommerce hub. In 2017, Instagram announced the 25 million new businesses had joined increasing from 15 million months earlier. Though we don’t know the exact number today, we can guess that millions and millions more have joined. The concept of supply and demand should come into play: the larger amount of businesses, the smaller the need for them is. Users spend only so much time on the platform. Influencers are also reaching less than normal, which could bring more trouble to Instagram. 

The main concern with Instagram rising is that the outcome will be similar to Facebook’s. Facebook started out by giving brands plenty of organic reach, but eventually began to decline. After that, it made it incredibly hard to maintain non-paid connection with the majority of Facebook Page audiences.

As per Mark Zuckerberg when discussing Facebook’s monetization strategy for all of its tools: 

Build a product that people love

Facilitate organic business behavior on the app (free of charge)

Prove additional avenues for businesses who are seeking to expand their reach and presence

Free of charge” could indicate that brands will have to pay for ads, but we won’t be able to know any of that for a while. In the meantime, businesses and brands on Instagram will have to organically reach as many people as possible in order to grow and boost back their engagement.

What do you think of the Instagram updates? We would love to hear your thoughts!

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