In a year highlighted by high-octane social media unkindness, Instagram is adding controls to make the photo sharing site safe for all.
Instagram will soon give its 500 million users a setting to turn off comments on any post, the ability to remove followers from private accounts, and a tool to anonymously report users expressing signs of hurting themselves.
Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom announced the coming changes Tuesday on his company’s blog.
“Comments are where the majority of conversation happens on Instagram,” Systrom wrote. “While comments are largely positive, they’re not always kind or welcome.”
Sometime early next year, Instagram will have a “Turn Off Commenting” feature under Advanced Settings. In addition, followers will be able to like other comments left on photos by tapping a heart icon next to the comment.
If your account is private, it has been cumbersome remove a follower once you’ve approved them. Soon, Instagram will make it easy by going to the list of followers and tapping the menu next to the person’s name. They will not be notified if they’ve been removed.
Another feature announced by Systrom gives users the ability to anonymously alert Instagram if a user is thinking of injuring themselves. He said Instagram will have 24-hour teams ready to connect the person with help organizations.