Instagram to Add 'Mute' Feature

Instagram to Add 'Mute' Feature

Over the next few weeks, Instagram will be rolling out a new feature: the ability to mute accounts that you don't want to see in your feed, but also don't want to unfollow. Business Insider's article explores some of the mechanics of this new implementation.

As the Business Insider article states, the clear benefit is being able to remove someone from your feed without the user knowing. You'll soon be able to keep up appearances without having to see content that isn't top on your list, whether that's in the main feed, stories, or both. As a content consumer, it allows for a more curated feed, but as a content producer, it raises some questions.

The impact of this new feature on Instagram's ever-evolving algorithm are unclear. Will your engagement suffer if too many users mute your feed? Or, will it help connect with users who actually want to see the content you're producing and increase engagement by not delivering it to uninterested users? Will follower counts now feel artificially inflated by users who will never see your content in their feed? I'll be interested to watch how it all plays out.

While this sort of thing is not new to social media — Facebook has had an unfollow option for quite some time — it does have some interesting implications for Instagram users. What do you think of Instagram's latest feature?

Lead image by Tofros via Pexels.

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11 Comments

Alex Armitage's picture

Definitely a bit confused by this update. I presume muting personal friends is the biggest draw, as you wouldn't want them to see you unfollowed them but also don't want to see what they post.

Past that, I can't imagine why anyone would mute a page they follow instead of just unfollowing them.

Aaron Patton's picture

I felt the same way, to be honest. The one thing that's appealing to me, though, is the ability to mute stories - there are some brands I follow that I love seeing in my feed, but they post 20-30 stories a day...not my style. So I can appreciate it for that, at least.

Alex Armitage's picture

That's very true. Good point

Walid Azami's picture

I once unfollowed a person and they took it quite seriously. I couldn't handle another selfie. Even though I wanted to say, "You look the same as the other 3 selfies this week!" - I didn't. I thought quietly unfollowing them would be the answer, but this little narcissist has the unfollow app. And within a couple of days she knew I unfollowed her, so she unfollowed me on IG and on FB. Honestly, as I type this...I'm actually embarrassed of the whole situation because I'm a grown man and this shouldn't be on my plate! I guess it's FB/IG's way of building up passive aggressive relationships.

Alex Armitage's picture

This is the only scenario I can imagine where it really matters. And even then. Does it actually matter??

Philipp Pley's picture

Facebook logic: Let's buy an app loved for its high impact and simplicity, because Facebook is over-complicated and dying, then expand all the Instagram functionality until it becomes Facebook.

David-James Selling's picture

I second that, if you don't want to see someone's content surely you'd just unfollow the account.

But being able to mute stories, could be good as I too have a few accounts I like to follow but they use the stories function as a means of free advertising, and therefore put out a ton of stories a day which I don't find particularly interesting.

Zach Iddings's picture

This is the stupidest update I think instagram will ever have done. Essentially a feature that turns people into ghost followers. Awesome.

Cody Schultz's picture

I think this is their response to people wanting a chronological feed. There is simply no way for people to see everything that is posted by the people they follow when they are following 300+, and the only way to grow seems to be to have your following count up that high. There are truly only 50 people I would like to follow and be sure to see all they post, so being able to mute others without affecting that number would not be such a bad thing.

Other option is just to unfollow them. No need to spend time of software developers.

A good addition I think. As you go along you build up a lot of people you kind of have an obligation to follow. Models, hair and make up artists and others who it would be rude not to follow but by god some of them post a lot of selfies. To be able to get the narcissism off my feed while not offending anyone sounds like a good thing to me.