Plus: The app’s classic icons make a comeback

By Eric Todisco
October 06, 2020 11:26 AM
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Instagram app
| Credit: Getty

Instagram is kicking off National Bullying Prevention Month by introducing new features to limit bullying and harassment on the social media app.

On Tuesday, which marks the app's 10-year anniversary, Instagram announced two new features that will limit negative interactions in comments.

"Bullying is a challenge many face, especially young people who are already dealing with additional pressures brought on by COVID-19," the app said on its blog.

The first feature, which Instagram has been testing in the last few days, will automatically hide comments that are similar to others that have been reported. If users wish to see these comments, they can tap “View Hidden Comments."

Instagram
| Credit: Instagram

The second feature will send new warning messages to users who post comments that are repeatedly flagged as offensive. The feature has been tested in select languages.

Since introducing warning messages less than a year ago, Instagram has seen a decrease in negative interactions in both comments and captions, the app said.

Any comments that violate Instagram's Community Guidelines will continue to be automatically removed from the app.

Instagram
| Credit: Instagram

Instagram is also celebrating its 10-year anniversary with an easter egg that allows users to change the app's home screen icon, as the company revealed in a cryptic tweet featuring emojis.

This can be done by going to settings within the app, then swiping down long enough to reveal several emojis. From there, the icons will be unlocked.

Among the available icons are: shades of different colors, a rainbow-colored Pride icon and for a more nostalgic feel, several versions of classic icons.

"For the easter egg, we wanted to give people a fun surprise that allows them to customize their Instagram while celebrating our birthday," an Instagram spokesperson tells PEOPLE. "You’ll see different icons to choose from, hidden in settings — you can pick your favorite, whether that's classic nostalgia or a colorful delight!"

Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, celebrated the app's 10th birthday in a statement, saying that he's "proud of where we are today, but I’m thinking a lot about where we’re going."

"We know that updating an app used by over a billion people is a big responsibility, but it’s important to adapt," he said. "I’m excited about how these changes will help our community create new waves of culture, and I can’t wait to see how you’ll inspire us next."