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Instagram announces DND mode and New Content filters

Instagram has announced some features designed to give users more control over its app. Most notable is a silent mode, which is similar to your smartphone’s “Do Not Disturb” setting. When active, Instagram will not send notifications and the profile will display a warning that the user is “in silent mode”. Anyone trying to send a message will receive an automatic response that the user is unavailable. It will be possible to set the silent mode to activate automatically at certain times of the day and, outside these hours, Instagram will send a summary of notifications. Anyone can use silent mode, however, the company says it will ask teen users to use the feature if they stay up late at night.

Silent mode is currently available in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, US and UK.

In addition to the new silent mode, Instagram has announced new tools designed to give people more control over the photos and videos they see on the platform. In particular, it is now possible to instruct the application not to recommend specific types of content. From the Explore tab, it is possible to put “I’m not interested” in unwanted content to shape the suggestion algorithm and consequently also what the user sees when searching for publications.

You can also now list specific words, hashtags, and emojis that you want Instagram to apply filters to when recommending content. This tool can be accessed through the “Hidden Words” section in the application’s privacy settings, however the filters only work when the app detects terms specified in hashtags and captions.

Finally, Instagram added a feature that allows parents to view their child’s app settings. The issue of inappropriate recommendations has long been a headache for Instagram and it remains to be seen whether these changes the platform is introducing will be enough to allay the concerns raised by lawmakers. In practice, it looks like Meta is tasking teen users with filtering their own feeds, when the company should be doing it.



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