Instagram revealed three new safety tools Tuesday: the ability to turn off commenting, to remove followers from private accounts and to anonymously report posts that hint at the intention of self-injury.
Co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom detailed the new options in a blog post, adding that Tuesday’s announcement marks the first steps of an ongoing commitment to user safety.
Systrom detailed the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network’s new comment control features:
Comments are where the majority of conversation happens on Instagram. While comments are largely positive, they’re not always kind or welcome. Previously, we launched the ability to filter comments based on keywords. This was an important step in giving you more control over your comments experience. However, there are two more features we think will improve this experience.
We’ll soon add a way to turn off comments on any post. Sometimes there may be moments when you want to let your post stand on its own. Previously this was only available for a small number of accounts. In a few weeks, it will be available for everyone. Tap “advanced settings” before you post and then select “turn off commenting.” You can also tap the … menu any time after posting to turn commenting back on.
Some people on Instagram choose to have private accounts, which means that they approve each follower. This is an important way for people to feel comfortable sharing with close friends and family. In the past, once you approved a follower, there was no simple way to undo that decision without blocking them. Going forward, if your account is private, you can remove followers by going to your list of followers and tapping the … menu next to any person’s name. The person will not be notified that you removed them as a follower.
And on reporting potential self-injury posts, Systrom wrote:
Finally, we want to continue to be a place where people can share deeply personal moments. From time to time, you may see friends struggling and in need of support. If you believe that someone you care about may be thinking about injuring themselves, you can report it anonymously, and we will connect your friend to organizations that offer help. We have teams working 24 hours per day, seven days per week around the world to review these reports.
On a non-safety-related note, Systrom also announced that Instagram will add the ability for users to like comments by tapping an adjacent heart icon “in the coming weeks.”
Readers: What are your thoughts on the safety features Instagram announced Tuesday?