11 May Instagram Restrict: How to Restrict Users on Instagram
Have you heard of Instagram Restrict? Surprisingly, not many people have.
Restrict, which originally rolled out in a 2019 update, went overlooked by many people and agencies amid the rapidly changing social space. The feature was created to give account owners and community managers the ability to moderate unsavory users without actually blocking their accounts.
If your job requires you to monitor community engagement and interaction on Instagram, this feature might be the perfect solution to your troll problem. Here’s a bit more about this overlooked feature and how you can leverage the tool for your brand marketing needs.
What is Instagram Restrict?
Restrict is another precaution that community managers or regular users can take to protect themselves from bullying or trolls on the app. Instagram already allows people to block accounts and manage comments, but there can be some drawbacks to blocking a user directly. A blocked user will be unable to comment or view content which, in some cases, may escalate issues even further. Since a restricted user is not blocked, people will still be able to see the restricted comments by tapping on the message – similar to how muted replies appear on the Twitter app. Account managers will then have the ability to approve the comment, delete it, or ignore it. If the restricted comment is approved, it would then become public to everyone. In addition, Instagram removes the notifications that come from restricted accounts.
How Brands Can Leverage This Tool
So how can brands leverage this new tool? The first thing that comes to mind is community management. For those of us in marketing that have the responsibility of managing Instagram pages and communities, this feature could make your life a lot easier. Other platforms like Twitter and Facebook let page admins “Hide” comments. From a strategic standpoint, Restrict offers these admins a new option for dealing with negative engagement on Instagram other than outright banning users.
SocialMediaToday’s article outlines ways social media managers can take advantage of this feature explaining that “it dilutes the potential insult of being blocked entirely by masking the action, reducing conflict and cleaning up feeds.” They add that by using the Restrict feature, page admins can continuously keep track of restricted users’ comments and report them later if the problems continue to escalate. Instagram’s goal is to establish an all-inclusive user experience for everyone – testing new features like Restrict will help the platform continue to take the right steps to become a safer place for all users.
A Focus on Safety at Instagram
Over the past year, Instagram has made a concentrated effort to promote a safe environment for users and fight against cyberbullying. Head of IG, Adam Mosseri, has made an effort to bring more attention to Instagram’s attempts to fight abuse on the platform. Instagram reiterated its stance against cyberbullying in a February 2021 article stating:
“We want Instagram to be a place for people to connect with the people and things they love. But we also know that, just like in the offline world, there will always be those who abuse others. — We don’t want this behavior on Instagram.”
In March of 2021, Instagram again released a statement reinforcing their ongoing commitment to making their platform safer for the youngest members of their user base. This press release came about one month before news broke that Facebook has plans to build a new version of Instagram for kids under the age of 13. Our guess is as good as any but, it seems to us that Facebook is setting the stage for the “Instagram-for-kids” platform announcement and this Restrict feature would fit in perfectly. Some of the other initiatives Instagram mentioned in their statement included restricting DM’s between teens and adults they don’t follow, making it more difficult for adults to find and follow teens, and encouraging teens to make their accounts private.
Instagram wants a safe and supportive experience on its platform for all users. These new features and updates like Restrict are part of the ongoing effort to protect young users with the goal of reducing abuse on social media.
For questions about Instagram Restrict or best practices to help keep your brand channels safe from negative comments, contact our team today. Alternatively, keep your brand up to date on the latest features and tools across the ever-changing social media marketing landscape by subscribing to our bi-weekly e-newsletter, Social You Should Know, below!
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