Instagram's new feature lets you mute friends - and they'll never know

The accounts you mute will not be aware you've muted them.
The accounts you mute will not be aware you've muted them. Photo credit: Instagram

Instagram has announced a new feature is on the way that allows users to hide posts in their feed from selected accounts. 

Most importantly, the mute feature will be anonymous - the person whose account you block will not find out that you've stopped their posts from showing up on your feed. It also means you can stop someone's posts from showing up on your feed without blocking them. 

"When you mute an account, you can still see posts on their profile page and get notified about comments or posts you're tagged in," Facebook-owned Instagram said in a statement. 

"To mute an account, tap the... menu in the corner of the post. From there, you can choose whether to mute posts, or mute posts and stories from an account. You can also mute posts and stories by pressing and holding on a story in your tray."

The feature is long overdue for many, but also raises questions about relationship dynamics - having the ability to filter out content that people in your life want you to see. 

"Instagram just released a mute feature and I heard friendship dynamics across the world shifting," wrote one Twitter user. 

If you're finding someone's posts on Instagram annoying, you always have the option of blocking them, but sometimes that isn't a realistic option - you can't just un-follow a close friend because they post too much stuff, for instance. Now, you can mute posts while preserving any IRL relationships. 

It's a bold move for Instagram, since it makes more sense for social networks to keep you occupied with as much content as possible. But perhaps Instagram has realised that as accounts get older, and users accumulate more friends, their feeds can start to get clogged up. 

"We're aiming to make feed the best place to share and connect with the people and interests you care about," Instagram said. 

Mute will be rolling out over the coming weeks.