Instagram finally adds ‘mute’ button, allowing people to unfollow friends without offending them

Users have been crying out for the feature for years

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 22 May 2018 14:29
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Instagram has finally added a mute button, allowing you to ignore people without offending them.

The new feature will finally allow people to banish accounts from their newsfeed – but without the person behind the account actually knowing.

Such a feature has been present for a long time on rival platforms like Twitter. But it has never been available on Instagram, forcing people either to see boring posts or risk upsetting people by unfollowing them.

"When you mute an account, you can still see posts on their profile page and get notified about comments or posts you're tagged in," Instagram said in a blog post. "The accounts you mute will not be aware that you've muted them. You can always unmute an account to get their posts back in your feed.

"To mute an account, tap the ... menu in the corner of the post. From there, you can choose whether to mute posts, or mute posts and stories from an account. You can also mute posts and stories by pressing and holding on a story in your tray, or from a profile."

The feature will initially go live with a "small number" of iOS users. It will then be rolled out to all Instagram accounts in the coming weeks.

Instagram has previously offered the option to mute people's stories – meaning they would not show up at the top of the app but were still available from profiles – but has never allowed to do it with the news feed. Some have noticed the feature being tested on the main app in recent months.

The same feature can be used on Facebook by clicking on a news feed post and choosing to "unfollow" a person, meaning that their posts will stop showing up but nothing else will change. It can be done on Twitter by clicking the cog on someone's profile and choosing to mute them.

The change comes just a couple of months after Instagram rolled out new changes to the news feed, so that it would prioritise newer posts and respond to complaints about the relatively new algorithmic timeline. The mute feature may be a response to some of the problems with that change, since a more chronological feed might also be more likely to show posts users didn't actually want to see.

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