LONDON: Meta, Instagram’s parent company, has announced it is testing new features aimed at giving users more control over what they see.
The photo and video app is currently trialing two new features offering the option to hide suggested posts with certain words, phrases, or emojis in the caption or hashtag, and mark multiple posts on the explore section as not interested.
In a blog post, Meta said: “We’re testing the ability to mark multiple posts in explore as not interested. We’ll immediately hide those posts and refrain from showing you similar content in the future.
“We’ll also soon start testing the ability to tell Instagram you don’t want to see suggested posts with certain words, phrases, or emojis in the caption or hashtags. Whether you’re seeing something that’s not relevant or have moved on from something you used to like, you can use this feature to stop seeing content that’s not interesting to you,” the statement added.
Experts claim Instagram’s move forms part of the app’s greater effort to become more transparent and offer users a more customizable feed.
In the last two years, the app has introduced a number of features that sought to offer algorithmically generated content, as opposed to posts users have chosen to follow, in a move to tackle TikTok’s growing popularity.
Tessa Lyons-Laing, Instagram’s director of product management, said: “We recognize that people sometimes want different things from different sessions, or their interests or needs from Instagram change quickly over time in a way we’re not going to be able to reflect in our ranking alone.
“We’re always going to be working to make our ranking systems that deliver content to you as personalized and relevant and engaging as possible.”
Currently, Instagram’s algorithm offers suggested posts based on previously interacted content and has a limited ability to introduce users to new interests and communities, a characteristic instrumental to the success of its rival, TikTok.
As part of Tuesday’s announcement, Meta also shared tips that people can use to see more of what they want on Instagram. As well as explaining favorites and following, not interested control, and snooze suggested posts’ feature potential, the app introduced the ability to adjust sensitive content controls to see more or less of some types of sensitive content.
The launch of the new features coincided with Instagram’s recent decision to temporarily reduce the number of suggested posts that users see, following an intense backlash from its users who accused the app of increasingly trying to resemble TikTok.
Meta said: “It’s important to us that people feel good about the time they spend on Instagram, so we’ll continue to work on ways to give people more control over what they see.”