#SocialSpeak: Instagram Shakes it up for a Friendlier, Healthier User Experience

Instagram has released several updates to the application as part of their initiative to have individuals reclaim their social media experience and use the platform more productively.

It seems that the focus is to have Instagram be a safe haven for users, providing individuals with the option of a more personalised feed. By giving users the option of muting certain accounts, they are no longer bombarded with posts promoted to the top of their feeds due to the algorithm implemented a couple years back.

Further, by allowing users to silence certain accounts, Instagram is sticking to its goal of blocking out online harassment and bullying. Such changes further promote user engagement.

An additional option has been created to share posts from your feed to your story. Originally, the point of Instagram was to have users generate original content. However, as more posts are being circulated via the app, the system has included this feature as a way to share posts that have proved to be inspirational or exciting. You can now share an inspirational outfit or funny meme onto your story rather than tagging your friends onto the post.

Users get to share it with their community of followers, increasing exposure to the original post and account. All you have to do is click the paper airplane found on the left under the post, and “Add post to your story.� However, keep in mind that this option is only made available for posts shared by public accounts!

As part of their new focus on nurturing mental well-being, the introduction of the “usage insights� feature is meant to show users how much time they are spending on the application. This is implemented to have users reassess their relationship with social media, as platforms have recently been receiving major criticism for the negative repercussions of increased usage.

Studies have been shown to link excessive exposure to social media with high rates of anxiety and depression, mostly among younger generations. And due to the visual nature of Instagram, the idea of an individual’s self-image is constantly being put on display for comparison.

By asking users to actively use their application, Instagram looks to counter these negative effects with the positive feelings that stem from feeling engaged with their community. Usage can also be monitored, as individuals will now be notified once they have caught up with all the latest posts on their feed. No more aimless scrolling!

These changes can be linked to a statement made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg early this year. In his statement, Zuckerberg highlights the importance of meaningful interactions over social media, and looks to have both Facebook and Instagram be platforms that provide users with a more rewarding experience, even if it means drops in usage.

Highlighting the importance of the relationship between well-being and social media usage, he asks that social media users advocate more of an active, interactive experience, rather than passively indulging on these platforms.

And that’s a wrap! Stay tuned to #SocialSpeak to get all the latest news on social media trends of 2018.

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Source: Social Networking the Past Present and Future

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