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New Instagram feature targeted at influencers

When it comes to affiliate marketing, social media influencers who have active followings on channels like Instagram and Facebook can prove extremely valuable. They already have a large influence over their followers and when they start to promote products or services as affiliates, they can drive a lot of traffic and create new revenue streams for brands.

However, the attitude toward influencers has shifted greatly over recent years and many of them receive abusive messages and comments on a daily basis. In an attempt to resolve this issue, Instagram is rolling out a new tool to filter out these messages.

What is the new feature?

According to Instagram, this new feature will allow users of the platform to filter out messages that contain certain phrases, emojis or offensive words. This can include hate speech that many influencers and celebrities receive every single day through the direct message function on the app.

To use the feature, account users will head to the message requests filter and choose the ‘hidden words’ option. This will push any offensive messages into a separate folder which the users can browse, delete or report should they wish to. This feature will be rolled out in several countries over the coming weeks with an expanded roll out planned over the next few months.

That’s not all…

In addition to this feature that allows users to block out harmful messages, they are also allowing users to pre-emptively block new accounts from any harassers. So, a user can not only block a particular account, but they can block any new accounts that this same user creates.

It isn’t clear how Instagram will detect this kind of action, but they are said to be using a ‘variety of signals’ to ensure everyone is safe.

Why the change?

Social media channels are not only a great place to connect with others and make new friends, but they are also an extremely valuable marketing tool. Instagram recognises the power that they have and so are doing what they can to make the channel a safe space.

These aren’t the first changes made to reduce hate on the platform with an announcement in February this year on disabling hate accounts and a 2018 feature that allowed harmful comments to be blocked.

What does this mean for influencers?

Many of the largest affiliate programs rely on social media influencers to drive traffic to their site and so these changes will be welcomed. With influencers enjoying a more positive atmosphere on social channels, they are less likely to be deterred by hateful comments that might affect their overall revenue stream and time spent promoting a product.

Larger brands and affiliate programs can also make use of these features. By filtering out abusive messages, it can be easier to find the positive messages and those from genuine customers who need assistance with a purchase or some kind of service.

While these features aren’t yet rolled out around the world, we don’t expect it will be long before we are able to use them on our accounts. This is great news for social media affiliates and influencers who have been campaigning for this change for so long.

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