In May 2018, Instagram announced the introduction of the mute feature. In the last month, Instagram has announced some ginormous changes, granted, but this one, I think, is an important one. First, I’m going to tell you how to mute someone on Instagram, and then we’ll chat about why…
How to mute someone on Instagram
I believe there are two ways to do this: one from an image in your feed and one from their profile. Both seem to work in a similar way- tap the three dots, select ‘Mute’ and Bob’s your Uncle. It’ll give you the option to mute just the posts on the main feed or the posts AND story. And it really is just a few taps away. From the reading I have done, these people will be completely unaware on their new muted status too… so that’s a win,
The other thing is, it’s really, really easy to unmute. Just visit the profile, tap the three dots on the right next to their name and select unmute. You can unmute stories, posts or both. It’s really very easy.
Why would you want to mute someone on Instagram? Why wouldn’t you just unfollow?
This is a very, very fair question and I have been giving it a lot of thought.
Instagram has said that mute has been introduced to allow people to personalise their feed more, to see the content that they want. And before you think ‘well, I’ll just unfollow’, don’t forget that Facebook has offered the ‘unfollow’ option for a long old time now… and lots of people use it. Mute might be new to Instagram, but to social media it isn’t.
I think that, in today’s social media and digital world, unfollowing someone is like a virtual slap in the face and being told that they don’t want to be your friend anymore. It’s a bold statement. Realistically, it’s a click, but people take it really badly and it’s used as a gauge for someone’s like/dislike of you… sad but true…
So – a few reasons why you might want to mute someone on Instagram:
- Maybe your friend is doing something seasonal you have no interest in and although you love them, you just don’t want to see all the images of something you have no interest in.
- Maybe people are posting too much and it’s drowning out the content from friends and family members you really, really want to see.
- Maybe you follow a large number of people because they’re clients or even potential clients and even though you like to keep in touch and see some of their pics, you don’t want to see all of their pics.
- Maybe you like their Stories but not their posts. Or visa versa.
- Maybe you’re trying to become less addicted to your phone and Instagram feed and want to give yourself less to be distracted by
- Maybe you’re suffering with a horrible case of comparisonitis – you know it’s your issue but you need a bit of space away from everyone’s shiny Instagram feeds…
I kind of think I see muting someone as a ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ thing. What your friend/the person you’re following is posting is not wrong, and you don’t like them any less as a person (you’d probably unfollow in both these cases), but you just don’t see their content in the same way as before. You’re still able to go and visit their profile and like/comment away whenever you like, so it’s not so much a ‘go away’, more a way to give yourself a little bit of mental space.
I know there are conflicting views on the mute feature – personally I can really see where it can add value. But I do also agree with the fact that you shouldn’t follow people just for the sake of following them… and then mute them. If you want to build genuine engagement on a genuine account, when a follow from you actually means something, use mute wisely. And if you don’t want to build this kind of account, I’m not so sure that social media is the place for you to hang out… because the ‘social’ part is really important!
Are you on Instagram? I’m @rheafreemanpr – come and share your views on ‘Mute’ over there…there’s a Tip Tuesday post all about it.