Instagram CEO and co-Founder Kevin Systrom announced the changes in an official blog post on Tuesday morning, saying they're part of its ongoing efforts to ensure the social app is safe and "a positive place for self-expression" for everyone. The new tools are simple, but also huge; specifically,the ability to like and reply to comments, the ability to turn off comments on certain posts, and even the ability to easily remove followers from your private account without having to block them. The company is also adding a feature that lets you anonymously report self-injury posts from people who many need support.
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Instagram is basically making its comments system work more like Facebook's, which makes complete sense considering Facebook owns Instagram. All you have to do is tap the reply button beneath a comment to respond or tap the tiny heart icon on the far right of the comment to "like" it. "Liking lets you show support and encourages positivity throughout the community," Systrom said.
As for removing followers from your private Instagram account, Instagram said it's a new way to keep someone from viewing your posts without having to fully block them. Best of all, they will not be notified when you cut them off from your stream of absurdly good-looking food posts and painfully artistic black and white architecture photos.
Instagram said the new features will roll out "in the coming weeks," although there's a chance one or more of them have already hit your Instagram app. Interestingly, the Systrom said the added controls "still mark the beginning," and that more are on the way. Too bad there isn't a new setting that automatically unfollows people for posting three vacation photos in a row. Yet.
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and his Instagram is already updated with the new changes. Send news tips to email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.