Instagram's algorithm has always decided who goes at the top of your feed and at the beginning of your story reel. Now it's giving you the power to decide who goes and who stays.
Instagram just added a feature to its photo-sharing app that finally gives users some power to dictate which of the people they follow do (or don't) show up in their feeds.
Starting Tuesday, you can remove specific accounts' posts and stories from your Instagram feed without unfollowing them or even alerting them to what you did. Facebook has given users the option to do that on its own platform for years, and people were thrilled when Snapchat quietly rolled out a similar feature earlier this year — one of the few well-received updates to its app in recent past, actually.
The obvious benefit to 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 don't like the frequency of their posts. 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 feeds and at the beginning of our Stories reel. But — short of deciding who you follow — this is the first update that gives users some amount of control of their own feeds instead.
Here's how to activate Instagram's new Mute feature:
When you come across a post from someone you no longer want to see in your feed, just select the three dots in the top right hand corner. You'll see that "Mute" is now located bellow "Unfollow."
You'll notice that your options are slightly limited here. If you want to mute someone's story but would like to keep seeing that account's pictures in your feed, you'll have to go to their profile.
From their profile, the process is nearly identical. The only difference is 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 their posts or story, even if the profile is private. You're still following each other; you just don't get updates on their activity.
And if you change your mind, you can always Unmute the account's posts and stories the exact same way.