SEE YOU LATER SKINNY TEA! INSTAGRAM HAS GONE ON A DETOX

Ever scrolled through instagram, seen yet another bogus ad for a detox/skinny tea/fat burning supplement and wish there was a way to filter this garbage out of your feed?

HOLD THE PHONE, because the Instagram Gods are listening (like we already knew they secretly were) and have answered our widely verbalised and quite often shouty pleas to (ironically) detox our feeds from shitty weight loss and cosmetic surgery content.

WHAT ARE THE ACTUAL CHANGES BEING MADE?

As of now, people under the age of 18 will no longer see posts promoting weight loss products or certain types of cosmetic surgery, where there is an incentive to buy or purchase information is included.

Posts may even be removed entirely if they make a “miraculous claim” about certain diet/weight loss products and include an incentive to buy such as a special offer or discount code.

Users will also be able to report posts they think fit this description and Instagram will review and decide whether to restrict or remove them.

The changes will also apply to Facebook.

The icing on the cake is, while the restrictions to view posts will only apply to people under the age of 18, many Instagram users haven’t had their age verified by Instagram, meaning adults might also be restricted from viewing these posts until they advise Instagram of their date of birth.

This update follows the changes Instagram made earlier in July, to test the feature of hiding likes from public view in specific countries, including: Canada (who can now see likes again), Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.

They did this to test whether this would create a less pressurised environment for users and combat the impact that the pressure to amass likes has on user’s mental health.

WHY WE LOVE THIS VERY VERY MUCH

Because honestly, it’s about effing time.

For quite a while now, there has been a growing concern over the impact that weight loss products, cosmetic surgery ads and diet culture as a whole, has on women and particularly young girls.

The doctored images and highlight reels we are presented with in social media set unrealistic expectations, creating a huge amount of pressure on users to live up to standards that simply don’t exist, exacerbating self image issues.

While the ability to create and grow a large following and earn income from social media has been hugely beneficial to many, it has also been abused by many more with limited policing, for way too long.

Browsing your Instagram feed now often feels like looking for diamonds in a sea of sand. What started years ago as genuine humans creating genuine content to share and connect, has become a means for making a quick buck for many b-grade celebrities and “influencers”.

Rather than earning large sums of money for simply snapping a photo of themselves with a weight loss or diet product, quite often even faking their results, this policy update encourages influencers to create higher quality, thoughtful, honest and engaging content.

It will be interesting to see the impact these changes will have on the health and wellness industry. With influencers now being held accountable for the quality of their content, we can only see this as having a positive influence on the entire Instagram community.

JADE X


Melanie Corlett