Instagram developers have been busy! On August 17th they unveiled a new way to experience events with a video channel in explore. If you aren’t an avid Instagrammer then you might be searching for this as a new category within search (like People, Tags, Places etc.) but in fact, they put it right front and center when you click the search button. It’s titled ‘Videos You Might Like’ and they’ve filled it with videos reflecting your on-platform activity.
This feature can introduce you to videos and Instagrammers you may otherwise never have found, so be sure to check it out on a regular basis. It’ll also help you source content from live events, giving you multiple videos and perspectives from events Instagram feels you might like. This is called Event Channels on Explore.
More encouraging though, is a few feature Instragram rolled out a couple days ago that allows you to filter keywords that will help reduce the number of unwanted remarks on your posts. This is a big step beyond having to delete and report these disparaging or offensive comments. Co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom said he believes it’s Instagram’s responsibility to “promote a culture where everyone feels safe to be themselves without criticism or harassment.” Systrom states:
“We know tools aren’t the only solution for this complex problem, but together, we can work towards keeping Instagram a safe place for self-expression. My commitment to you is that we will keep building features that safeguard the community and maintain what makes Instagram a positive and creative place for everyone.”
To access the new filtering feature simply click the gear icon and then click Comments. This feature allows you to list words that you consider offensive or inappropriate and they will be hidden from your posts. Instagram has provided a list of default words that can be selected, or you can enter your own.
I hope you find these new features on Instagram to be both helpful, and improve the quality of the time you spend on the platform. Some people might find it frustrating that we, as users, have to do the legwork to protect ourselves from harassment or trolls. I see it as an opportunity. Harassment means different things to different people. Instagram has given us the ability, much like in life, to determine what we are a part of. We can choose to be positive, to keep our Instagram profile an encouraging and uplifting space, and filter out the negativity that some people choose to live in. This is a good thing!