Instagram recently began testing a “Mute” button, and now it’s been rolled out. From now on, you can mute anyone you don’t really wanna follow without having to go through the whole “why did you unfollow me?” conversation. While this can certainly be a useful feature, it is potentially a double-edged sword if you use Instagram to promote your work.
Muting an account is easy and there are a few ways to do it. You can tap the “…” menu in the corner of someone’s post. From there, you have a couple of options: you can mute posts or posts and stories from this user. You can also mute posts and stories by pressing and holding on a story, either in your tray or from a profile.
When you mute someone, their posts will no longer appear in your feed but, if you’re curious, you can still see what they’re sharing by visiting their profile. You can always unmute an account if you change your mind, and remember that users won’t know if they’re muted.
A similar feature has been around on Twitter for a while, and to be quite honest, I’ve never used it. If I don’t want to follow someone, I simply unfollow them. But I understand how a mute button can be useful if you follow a lot of friends on Instagram, yet want to see other photographers’ work. If your feed is full of selfies, cats, food or coffee pics, the mute option can spare you the awkward conversation explaining why you unfollowed someone.
However, it’s not clear how the mute feature will affect the algorithm. What happens if you get muted? Will Instagram recommend your posts to other users who might be interested in your work? Or perhaps your profile will become less visible and recommended? I guess we just have to wait and see. But if you use Instagram to promote your work, now can be the right time to perfect your Instagram profile so people don’t mute you in the first place.