Instagram has taken a step towards enhancing user experience and safety by introducing a new feature that aims to reduce the annoyance caused by incessant messages from unfamiliar accounts.
In a recent update to its Direct Messages (DMs) system, Instagram now enforces a restriction on the number of messages a stranger can send you. If an individual you don’t follow attempts to message you, they will be limited to sending just one text. For any further communication, the sender must either gain your approval for a chat request or become one of your followers. This measure is expected to be particularly beneficial for larger accounts that often receive unsolicited messages from unknown users.
Moreover, the new feature limits the type of content that can be shared in initial DM requests. Until a chat request is accepted or the sender becomes a follower, only text-based messages can be exchanged. Sending images, videos, or voice messages will be permitted only after the initial connection is established.
Cindy Southworth, the head of Women’s Safety at Meta, the parent company of Instagram, emphasized the importance of instilling confidence and control in users when they access their message inbox. She highlighted, “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.”
This newly introduced feature complements Instagram’s existing safeguards within the DM system. One such feature is the “Hidden Words” function, which automatically filters and blocks potentially offensive language from messages sent by unfamiliar users. These messages are segregated into a separate folder, allowing users to easily overlook them.
Additionally, Instagram provides a discreet method to manage interactions with unwanted contacts without resorting to blocking. Users can utilize the “Restrict” option, which ensures that troublesome comments posted by accounts they follow remain visible only to the commenter and not to others.
By incorporating these measures, Instagram aims to foster a more secure and enjoyable environment for its users. This move underscores the platform’s commitment to addressing concerns related to unsolicited messages and offensive content, thereby enriching the overall user experience. As Instagram continues to prioritize user safety, its evolving features are likely to pave the way for a more pleasant online social interaction.