30 April 2018

Hide Stories on Instagram, and other tidbits

In the year-and-a-half since launch, Stories have become a success story for Instagram – and caused quite a bit of backlash as well. I’m still not sold on the concept, I rarely view stories from people I follow, and I don’t think I posted more than a story or two on my account. The whole idea of putting effort into something that will disappear the next day seems nonsensical to me.

If you’re also annoyed by the constant carousel of profile pictures at the top of the feed, prompting you to click and view, I recently found out (on Twitter, naturally) that you can hide stories from individual people. Simply tap and hold their avatar in the story bar (this works both at the top of the feed and further down, in the ‘Recent stories’ box), then select ‘Mute [username]’ in the menu. Obviously, this doesn’t help if you want to get rid of stories altogether, but at least you can cut down on the noise by muting people that post too often.

  • Instagram mute Story
  • Instagram ad to visit Facebook
  • Instagram see more like collection

Completely unrelated, around the same time I noticed a new ad unit in the Instagram feed, inviting me to… visit Facebook to see what my friends have posted! I thought it was particularly ironic that this happened right in the middle of Facebook’s most recent privacy scandal. It felt a bit like a reminder that Facebook owns Instagram, along with any data that you feed into the photo sharing service, making it just as vulnerable to hacking and mismanagement as its parent. But the more likely explanation is that I have been spending much more time on Instagram than on Facebook (which I barely open once a day, and then only to check the occasional notification), and the ‘system’ felt the need to draw me back.

On a more useful note, I discovered a neat little feature of Collections: when you visit a collection of saved posts on your profile, there’s a link underneath to ‘See More Like This’. This opens a new page with images similar to those found in the collection, kind of like Explore, but based on a smaller subset of your activity on Instagram. I assume this works best if the collected posts have some thematic link; in my case, I saved a couple of remarkable landscapes, and the recommendations were pretty good.

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