Though social media apps introduce innovative features all the time Instagram is taking a step forward by introducing an update that may potentially save lives.
The photo-sharing site shared a subtle change to its app that may help out users who are feeling sad, upset or in need of moral support.
‘Instagram would offer accessible options including talking to a friend, contacting a local helpline or receiving mental health advice and support to those who might feel worried.’
Users whose posts seem like they'll inflict self-harm could be reported by worried followers. Once notified, IG will send them a message that says, "Someone saw one of your posts and thinks you might be going through a difficult time. If you need support, we'd like to help."
The app would then offer accessible options including talking to a friend, contacting a local helpline or receiving mental health advice and support. Furthermore, Instagram is also banning hashtags associated with self-harm and users who search for such keyboards would be directed to this page.
Instagram Chief Operating Officer (COO) Marne Levine, said,
"These tools are designed to let you know that you are surrounded by a community that cares about you, at a moment when you might most need that reminder".
IG also partnered with National Eating Disorders Association and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to ensure the effectiveness of its campaign, as well as to ensure that the wording in its help prompts was appropriate.