Is politics a major buzzkill? Instagram execs seem to think so.
In a blog post Friday, Instagram, the popular photo and video app owned by Meta, said it will no longer “proactively recommend” political content from accounts that users do not already follow. The same policy applies to Threads, the Twitter-copycat app launched last summer under the Instagram brand.
“We want Instagram and Threads to be a great experience for everyone,” it said. “If you decide to follow accounts that post political content, we don’t want to get between you and their posts, but we also don’t want to proactively recommend political content from accounts you don’t follow.”
By default, going forward Instagram and Threads will not promote political content (unless it’s from accounts users already are following). Both apps will add a setting to let users who still want to see political content recommendations opt to do so — and, according the post, the same control will roll out on Facebook at a later date. Instagram defines “political content” as “potentially related to things like laws, elections or social topics.”
“Our goal is to preserve the ability for people to choose to interact with political content, while respecting each person’s appetite for it,” Instagram head Adam Mosseri wrote in a post on Threads.
The updated policy to discontinue recommending political content applies to areas of Instagram including Explore, Reels, In-Feed Recommendations and Suggested Users.
Meta has already been deprioritizing political content across its social apps, including on Facebook. “People have told us they want to see less political content, so we have spent the last few years refining our approach on Facebook to reduce the amount of political content — including from politicians’ accounts — you see in Feed, Reels, Watch, Groups You Should Join, and Pages You May Like,” the company explains in a post on its Transparency Center site.
The Instagram blog post noted that professional accounts on the app can check the Account Status setting to see if their posts are eligible to be recommended — based on whether they recently posted “political content.” If Instagram has blocked an account’s posts from recommendations, pro users may edit or remove recent posts to regain eligibility or request a review if they disagree with Instagram’s designation. Such users flagged for political content also can “stop posting this type of content for a period of time, in order to be eligible to be recommended again,” Instagram said.