Well-Being//

Instagram Is Officially Making Its Users’ Well-Being a Priority

Better late than never.

In theory, social media gives us ways to share our stories, make meaningful connections, and feel good about ourselves.

But in practice, of course, that’s not always the case. A number of experts—from psychologists to tech leaders themselves—are increasingly speaking out about the association between social media use and mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and negative body image. And a 2017 survey from Britain’s Royal Society for Public Health found that Instagram was more damaging to young people’s mental health and well-being than YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or Snapchat.

Now, Instagram is taking steps to address the issue. Earlier this week, the photo and video-sharing platform confirmed the creation of a Wellbeing Team, Quartzy reports. “Making the community a safer place, a place where people feel good, is a huge priority for Instagram,” said Eva Chen, Instagram’s head of fashion partnerships.

An Instagram spokesperson told Quartzy that in the last year the company has introduced new features, such as comment filters and mental health support — including a team that connects potentially troubled users with organizations that offer help. Instagram also displays mental health resources on pages for hashtags relating to sensitive topics.

Instagram has posted job openings on the team, including a product marketing manager who “will support [Instagram’s] wellbeing initiative, which fosters a safe, kind and supportive community on Instagram.”

Former Vice President of Revenue Product at Twitter Ameet Ranadive tweeted in December that he was joining Instagram to lead the Wellbeing Team.

Read more about Instagram’s Wellbeing Team here

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