Instagram is testing a feature that will let users know when there are technical issues on the app following last week’s outages across platforms.
The photo-sharing app is also adding an “account status” function so users can keep track of community guidelines violations and request reviews of decisions that are made, the company announced in a statement Monday.
“Through conversations with our community and extensive research, we know how confusing it can be when temporary issues happen on Instagram. When they impact engagement or distribution, we also know that it can lead people to think that the problems are unique to them, based on what they post,” the blog post said. “That lack of clarity can be frustrating, which is why we want it to be easier to understand what’s going on, directly from us.”
Instagram has remained at the forefront of the conversation since the Wall Street Journal published internal Facebook research that revealed the company knows its products are politically and socially harmful. Following last week’s Senate subcommittee hearing with the Facebook whistleblower as well as widespread global outages, the company appears to be making an effort to remedy some users’ concerns through the launch of these new features. Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg also shared that it plans to roll out new features to protect teens and dial back political content on Monday.
Social media consultant Matt Navarra said notifying users of technical issues on Instagram might be “really useful” with the caveat that if the app is down, people may not be able to access the notifications: “I think this is partly for Instagram or Facebook to sort of control the narrative a bit more, to be able to manage people’s expectations and keep them up to date with what’s going on rather than relying on hearsay or on reporters and journalists to relay that information.”
Instagram plans to test the technical issue notifications in the US over the next few months before considering expansion.