Instagram Mute Feature and other Social Media Customizations: Should we be concerned?

June 21, 2018
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It was announced last month that Instagram has introduced a feature that allows users to “mute” accounts that they follow. This allows them to curate their newsfeed and filter what they want to see as they scroll, all without having to actually unfollow accounts. Frequent Instagram users can all relate – we all have accounts we follow that we don’t care to keep on our radar, but the act of unfollowing seems austere. Whether it’s a social dynamic you don’t want to pollute with social media drama, or an account you want to keep around but don’t necessarily care to see or engage with often, this is a great new feature to control what content you see in your feed. The social media world has deemed the new feature a “soft unfollow”.

But what does that mean for us? In the world of influencer marketing, users seeing and engaging with posts is essential – it’s the cornerstone of our entire existence. Giving our audience the ability to block content that they don’t feel inclined to keep regularly visible on their social media feeds sounds dangerous to the success of influencer marketing campaigns. So what are our 2-cents?

In the grand scheme of things, these improvements to social media are good news for us. The added mute feature on Instagram, algorithm changes, Facebook and Instagram Story updates, Twitter’s increased character limit, and all the other social media updates that happen practically daily keep us on our toes. Though sometimes difficult to adjust to at first (nobody likes change!), social media companies know their users and know how to retain and hook us.

It’s all about maintaining healthy social media hygiene. What improvements can these interfaces undergo to establish a positive, long-lasting usership? What changes encourage social media patrons to visit frequently and maintain a consistent positive sentiment towards what they see and how they interact with it? With a growing effort to keep users’ mental health in mind, social media tycoons are listening to what their audience wants and needs out of their services. Instagram’s new mute feature is a great example of that – we have been waiting for a feature like this for years. Improvements like this will keep our involvement with our feeds consistent and happy – encouraging interaction with posts, including influencer marketing posts.

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