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  • MaryGrace Lerin

Instagram Introduces New In-App Alerts for Technical Issues and Policy Violations That May Affect Yo

Following two major outages last week, Instagram is working to provide more transparency into continuing interruptions and issues, as well as account-based actions such as Community Standards violations and content removals, directly in-app.

To begin with, Instagram is experimenting with a new alert type that will give users with information on current technical issues and how they relate to app features.

According to Instagram:

“We're going to test out new notifications when certain parts of Instagram aren't working, and we notice that people have a lot of questions. We want to make it easier to understand what's going on, directly from the source.”

This could be beneficial. When parts of Instagram go down, most users turn to Twitter to figure out what's going on, and that strategy may work for some. However, the information would be better if it came directly from the app, giving it greater legitimacy and a direct link to Instagram users.

However, that method is dependent on Instagram being able to handle alerts, something it was unable to do last week when the service was unavailable for more than six hours. These messages won't be much use if users can't log into the app in the first place — but then again, large-scale outages are rare, and it's more commonly isolated components of the service that are having issues, such as this example notification relating to Stories.

Before Instagram takes any further action, the new alerts will first be tested with users in the United States.

In addition, Instagram is unveiling ‘Account Status,' a new feature that will give you information about potential content violations and other issues with your postings.

The goal of the measure is to let users better understand any content or distribution implications, as well as to dispel rumors of 'shadow banning' or other limitations that may be affecting post performance.

Users will see Account Status highlighted when they break the platform's rules, as seen here, and you'll be able to check the overview at any moment via your settings.

You'll also be able to access more information about the platform's rules and policies from the overview page, and also Instagram's appeal process if you believe you've been unfairly penalized.

The improvements are in response to numerous inquiries from Instagram users about why their account has been flagged and what they can do to address the issue. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri hosts a weekly Q&A session on his Stories, and he answers questions regarding this part every week, while every Instagram announcement post is inundated with questions about individual accounts and requests for assistance.

Maybe these additional improvements may help users comprehend what's going on by adding greater transparency, but I'm guessing it won't make much of a difference in most circumstances.

Not that Instagram is to blame; it is attempting to provide more information. Many, I believe, will simply not care to check, will disagree with the findings, and/or will refuse to accept anything less than direct action from IG.

Which, in most circumstances, will not occur – and at most, these new insights will most likely suffice.

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