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Instagram Says It Wants To Improve Transparency In 2022

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As 2021 draws to a close, there’s a lot of self-reflection going on among social media companies. Meta (formerly Facebook), in particular, has gone through immense scrutiny and even a rebranding to counter controversies. One of Meta’s services, Instagram, is now laying out plans for 2022. Its chief, Adam Mosseri, said they want to “rethink what Instagram is” and improve transparency in the coming year.

“We’re thinking about who we are, what we value and what kind of change we want to affect in the world,” Mosseri said in a video posted on Twitter (via CNET).

Among Instagram’s goals for 2022 is to enhance its private messaging service and sharpen its focus on bolstering Reels. Further, the company also wants to improve how Instagram creators earn revenue on the app.

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While Mosseri didn’t directly address the controversies of 2021, he said the platform would offer more transparency in the coming year. “We think it’s important that people understand how Instagram works, if they’re going to shape it into what they want, or what’s best for them,” he said.

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Reports in September claimed that Instagram was “toxic” for teens

Instagram’s 2021 scandals include its approach towards the mental health of its teenage users. A report by WSJ claimed that Meta was well aware that Instagram was “toxic” yet did nothing to fix the issues. This led to several congressional hearings, with Mosseri being asked to testify in one of them. However, Instagram said the WSJ report misrepresented the internal research conducted by the company.

Almost simultaneously, parent company Meta also went through significant scrutiny following revelations by data engineer and whistleblower Frances Haugen. She provided thousands of internal company documents to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Earlier this month, Instagram introduced a couple of new features in preparation for the holiday season. One of them is Playback, which lets users go through some of their memorable Instagram Stories from 2021 and share them with their followers.

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Additionally, the company also unveiled Reels Visual Replies which lets creators respond to a user query/comment with a 60-second Reel. The option appears next to the comment reply icon for creators. This is part of a broader plan to improve engagement between the creators and their audiences.