Instagram is taking a significant step towards enhancing user safety by introducing a new tool that aims to clamp down on unwanted images and videos in direct messages (DMs). This move comes as part of Instagram’s ongoing efforts to create a more secure and controlled environment for its users.
Previously, Instagram had been testing this new feature, and it has now been made available to all users. The main objective is to prevent individuals from receiving unsolicited content in DMs, such as photos, videos, and even audio recordings from users they do not follow. Going forward, only text-based DM invites will be allowed, and users will be limited to sending just one message to initiate a chat. This is a significant departure from the previous system, which allowed unlimited messages before the recipient accepted the chat request. Once the user accepts the chat request, further messages can be exchanged.
The implementation of this feature is driven by Instagram’s commitment to ensuring user confidence and control when using the platform. Cindy Southworth, the head of Women’s Safety at Meta (formerly known as Facebook), emphasized the platform’s dedication to user safety in an email statement, saying, “We want people to feel confident and in control when they open their inbox. That’s why we’re testing new features that mean people can’t receive images, videos, or multiple messages from someone they don’t follow until they’ve accepted the request to chat.”
The feedback from the community plays a crucial role in shaping these safety features, and Instagram remains open to further improvements to help users feel safer and more secure on the platform.
It’s important to note that while this new feature is a significant step forward, it does have its limitations. However, it complements Instagram’s existing functionalities designed to promote better moderation of messages exchanged through the platform’s direct messaging system. For instance, the “hidden words” feature allows comments and messages to be filtered based on specific “forbidden” words, helping to prevent the spread of harmful or offensive content. Additionally, Instagram provides users with options to restrict access to their content for specific users or block unwanted interactions altogether.
Of particular concern for Instagram’s moderation policy are minors, as the platform aims to create a safe environment for young users. By implementing these various safety features, Instagram seeks to foster a positive and secure digital space for all its users.
As Instagram continues to prioritize user safety, users can expect to see further developments and improvements in the platform’s security features. The platform remains committed to listening to its community’s feedback and finding innovative ways to make Instagram a safer and more enjoyable experience for all.