Instagram has been working on steering young users away from harmful content on the app. That’s a tall order, as a ton of content is uploaded to the platform on a daily basis. A new feature will nudge teens on Instagram to view other content if they spend a lot of time watching the same content.
At this point, controlling social media is extremely difficult without monitoring every person’s posts. This has led to a lot of grief over the years for several reasons. Because of this, major social media platforms need to rely on policy changes and AI to turn users away from harmful content.
Instagram will nudge teens from watching content with a certain theme
Instagram can’t go in and censor the content that young users are seeing, so it needs to take a less direct approach. If a young user is on the Discover Feed and looking at the same type of content for an extended amount of time, they will get a notification. This notification will suggest that the user look at some other type of content.
The notification will have a selection of other topics to look at content for. Instagram didn’t outline which topics it would recommend, but we can expect a collection of topics it deems safe and wholesome.
One issue the blog post hinted at was appearance comparison. This means that it wants to steer teens away from models that will make them feel insecure about themselves.
This seems to be working
Instagram did back up this feature with some figures. 1 in 5 users actually tapped on the notification. That may not sound like a lot, but that’s 20% of the users moving away from their content from just a notification.
Also, 58.2% of those who tapped on the notification found that it did positively impact their experience. They were steered away from content it felt negatively impacted the experience. This shows that there’s hope for this feature.