San Francisco: Instagram, owned by Meta, is taking measures to safeguard its users from unwanted direct message (DM) requests. The social media platform will be rolling out a new feature aimed at preventing users from receiving unsolicited images or videos from people they don’t follow and deterring strangers from sending repetitive messages.
The new feature, which had been in testing since June, will impose two restrictions on users attempting to send DM requests to accounts they don’t follow. Firstly, users will only be allowed to send one message to a non-follower, instead of bombarding them with multiple DM requests. This restriction seeks to curb spammy and unwanted messaging behavior.
Secondly, DM invites will now be limited to text-based messages only. This means that users can only send photos, videos, or audio messages to those who don’t follow them after the recipient accepts the invitation to chat. By enforcing this restriction, Instagram aims to prevent non-followers from sending inappropriate or intrusive media files.
Cindy Southworth, head of Women’s Safety at Meta, stated in an email, “We want people to feel confident and in control when they open their inbox.” This move is part of Instagram’s ongoing efforts to enhance user safety and improve the overall user experience on the platform.
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Instagram already employs certain limitations to protect users from abuse and inappropriate contact. Among these is the “Hidden Words” setting, which automatically filters DM requests containing offensive words, phrases, or emojis, directing them to a separate folder. Additionally, the “Limits” feature shields users from sudden surges of unwanted comments or DM requests.
The social media platform has been continually introducing new features and upgrades to enhance its services. In July, Instagram introduced upgrades to Reels templates, facilitating users in finding inspiration and creating engaging Reels. Moreover, Meta announced the rollout of real-time avatar calls on both Instagram and Messenger, allowing users to participate in video calls without revealing their actual faces, offering a third option between turning the camera on or off.
With the implementation of these new restrictions on DM requests, Instagram aims to create a safer and more enjoyable environment for its vast user base, empowering users to control their communication and interactions on the platform.