Instagram is making a major update to its services from today

From hiding your likes to algorithm engagement, rumours often circulate about Instagram updates – but today, the social media platform confirmed a major change that has the potential to impact all users, and it’s all for a very good cause.

Starting today, a tool called Instagram Restrict will be rolled out globally, with the intention of protecting accounts from undesirable interactions – and in particular, safeguarding younger people with profiles on the site.

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Earlier this year, Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, committed to fighting bullying across the network, explaining in a statement: ‘Our mission is to connect you with the people and things you love, which only works if people feel comfortable expressing themselves on Instagram.

‘We know bullying is a challenge many face, particularly young people. We are committed to leading the industry in the fight against online bullying, and we are rethinking the whole experience of Instagram to meet that commitment.’

In line with this, the Restrict function was tested amongst a small pool of users, giving them the option to limit their communication with anyone who’s causing them problems, or giving them unwanted attention.

‘Once you Restrict someone, comments on your posts from that person will only be visible to that person,’ Mosseri detailed at the time. ‘ You can choose to make a restricted person’s comments visible to others by approving their comments. Restricted people won’t be able to see when you’re active on Instagram or when you’ve read their direct messages.’

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The idea gives an alternative to those who are reluctant to block or report, but are receiving unwanted attention that they wish to avoid.

Starting now, the option to Restrict will be rolled out globally, and you’re likely to see it popping up on your own app within the next few days. You can make use of it by swiping left on a comment, through the Privacy tab in Settings, or directly on the profile of the account you want to avoid.