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Instagram just announced a feature that finally gives users some power to dictate which of the people they follow do (or don’t) show up in their feeds.
In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to remove specific accounts’ posts and stories from your Instagram feed without unfollowing them or even alerting them to what you did. Facebook has for years given its users the option to do that, and people were thrilled when Snapchat rolled out a similar feature earlier this year – one of the few well-received recent updates, actually.
The obvious benefit of a feature like this is the social implication. Instagram users won’t risk losing followers or have to go so far as to unfollow a friend because they post too frequently. It can also make for a more consistent feed, giving users the option to exclusively allow posts about fashion, news, or dogs, for example.
Instagram has been experimenting with its algorithm lately, trying to determine the best method to decide who shows up at the top of our feed and at the beginning of our stories reel. But short of deciding who you follow, this update is designed to give users some amount of control of their feed.
Here’s how to activate Instagram’s “mute” feature when it rolls out to accounts in the next few weeks:
When you come across a post from someone you no longer want to see in your feed, select the three dots in the top right-hand corner. You’ll see that “mute” is now below “unfollow.”
You’ll notice that your options are slightly limited here. If you want to mute someone’s stories but keep seeing that account’s pictures in your feed, you’ll have to go to their profile.
From a user’s profile, the process will be nearly identical. The only difference will be that you’ll see “mute story” as an additional option after you select “mute.”
Similar to Facebook’s “unfollow” and Snapchat’s “do not disturb” features, you can still go to the account if you want to see posts or stories, even if the profile is private. You’ll still be following each other – you just won’t get updates on their activity.
And if you change your mind, you can always unmute the account’s posts and stories the same way.