After two significant outages last week, Instagram is moving to provide more insight into ongoing disruptions and issues, while it’s also looking to add more transparency into account-based actions, like Community Standards violations and content removals, directly in-app.
First off, Instagram’s testing a new alert type that’ll provide users with insight into ongoing technical problems, and how they relate to functionalities within the app.
As per Instagram:
“We’re going to test out new notifications when certain parts of Instagram aren’t working, and we notice that people have a lot of questions. We want to make it easier to understand what’s going on, directly from the source.”
Which could be helpful. Right now, most users turn to Twitter to find out what’s happening when elements of Instagram go down, and that method may work well for some. But ideally, the info would be coming direct in the app, adding more authority, as well as specific connection to Instagram users.
But that system does, of course, also rely on Instagram being able to facilitate notifications, which it wouldn’t have been able to do last week when the app went down entirely for 6 hours+. If users aren’t able to log into the app in the first place, then these notifications won’t be much use – but then again, those types of large-scale outages are rare, and it’s more often individual elements of the app that are experiencing difficulties, as per this example notification relating to Stories.
The new alerts will initially be tested with users in the US, before Instagram decides on any next steps.
In addition to this, Instagram’s also launching ‘Account Status’, a new tool to provide insight into potential content violations, and other issues with your posts.
“Today we’re launching a new tool called Account Status, which will help you get more insight into how our Community Guidelines affect your account 📲 Use this tool to learn what you can post on Instagram, and what you can do if your post goes against our guidelines ❌
You can access this tool via Settings → Account → Account Status, where you can:
✔️Stay informed about your account: Find out if you post something that shouldn’t be on Instagram, and what it could mean for your account
✔️Know when to take action: Learn what you can do if your post is taken down or if you don’t agree with our decision
✔️See your status anytime: View all posts that have been taken down so you continue to stay informed”
The measure is designed to help users better understand any content or distribution impacts, which will also, ideally, temper rumors of supposed ‘shadow banning’ or other restrictions which could, perceivably, be impacting post performance.
As you can see here, Account Status will be highlighted to users when they violate the platform’s rules, while you’ll also be able to access the overview any time via your settings.
From the overview page, you’ll also be enable to connect through to more info about the platform’s rules and processes, as well as Instagram’s appeal process, if you feel you’ve been penalized unfairly.
The changes come as a result of repeated questions from Instagram users as to why their account has been penalized, and what they can do to resolve it. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri runs a weekly Q and A session via his Stories, and every week he addresses queries on this element, while every Instagram announcement post is also flooded with queries about specific accounts and calls for assistance.
Maybe, these new additions will go some way in adding more transparency, and helping users understand what’s happening – but I’m tipping, in most cases, it won’t make much difference.
Not that that’s Instagram’s fault, it is trying to provide more insight. I suspect, however, that many simply won’t bother to check, won’t agree with the findings, and/or won’t accept anything other than direct action from IG.
Which, in most cases, is not going to happen – and for the most part, these new insights will likely provide all you need.