Instagram Reduces Visibility of ‘Potentially Harmful’ Content, Starts Testing Subscriptions Feature

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 21 Jan 2022


Instagram announced that it will now take action to reduce the visibility of content it deems “potentially harmful.” The platform already removes posts that violate its Community Guidelines, but this move will help reduce the visibility of posts that lie in the proverbial grey area and could offend some users. It also started testing vertically scrolling stories and Instagram Subscriptions.

Instagram’s definition of harmful content it would not tolerate is relatively straightforward. It says anything that could “contribute to real-world harm, including through our policies prohibiting coordination of harm, sale of medical masks and related goods, hate speech, bullying and harassment, and misinformation that contributes to the risk of imminent violence or physical harm” is harmful content.

However, some posts could be offensive to a smaller subset of users. The social media platform plans to de-rank posts flagged as “potentially harmful.”

“If our systems detect that a post may contain bullying, hate speech, or may incite violence, we’ll show it lower on Feeds and Stories of that person’s followers.”

Secondly, Instagram will consider your history of reporting posts and personalize your feed so “potentially offensive” content is pushed further down. Instagram explains that if it believes you are likely to report a post, it will position it to lower down in your feed. This reduces the chances that you would come across the content. These measures restrict offensive content and could potentially make Instagram a more pleasant social media platform to spend time on.

The Meta-owned image and short video platform was spotted testing a redesigned version of Stories earlier this week. According to social media consultant Matt Navarra, Instagram users in Turkey received an update that makes Stories scroll vertically like Reels instead of horizontally. Consecutive stories from the same account could reportedly be seen by tapping on the left and right sides of the screen (horizontally). Still, the next user’s stories were accessible by swiping down. Instagram confirmed it was working on vertically-scrolling stories in February last year, but you can finally see what it looks like below:

Instagram is also testing a new paid subscription-based monetization avenue for creators that could resemble websites like OnlyFans. The Instagram subscription feature is available to 10 creators for initial testing. They can personalize the monthly subscription fee and add a subscribe button to their profiles. The subscribers can unlock exclusive live broadcasts and comment section badges.

What do you think of vertically scrolling stories and paywalled Instagram content? Tell us in the comments section below.

[Via Instagram Blog]