Skip to main content

Instagram’s newest feature will let you know when it does go down

Instagram (and other Facebook services) suffered an extended outage last week that lasted multiple hours and briefly caused chaos across the internet, particularly in developing countries. Today, the company announced an update coming to its mobile app, letting users know when an outage is experienced.

This test is a U.S.-only one for the most part, and Facebook isn’t making any promises that it’ll make it permanent, only that it’ll be evaluating the results and see if it makes sense to expand it in the future.

Instagram debuts a new outage warning on mobile.
Instagram

“We won’t send a notification every single time there is an outage, but when we see that people are confused and looking for answers, we’ll determine if something like this could help make things clearer,” the Instagram team wrote.

As noted above, Instagram already suffered an extended outage on Monday last week, spanning around 6 hours in combination with other Facebook apps. Shortly after, Instagram later suffered a minor outage on Friday of the same week. There were reports on social media by users who claimed to have deleted their apps, turned off their Wi-Fi, even installed pending operating system updates. While not fixing the problem, a change like this would shed some light as to whether there is a problem at all.

Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp do not yet have similar features, but with userbases spanning a combined 3 billion (though with significant overlap), the company could consider rolling a similar status check feature for the other two as well. With Facebook working on merging all three services eventually, feature parity will eventually become more important than it is now.

Other than this, Instagram will also be rolling out a new Account Status page in the mobile app. If a post gets removed, you’ll see it there, along with why the post was removed. You’ll also be able to file an appeal to contest the removal, as well as see if your account is currently on a path to deletion.

Editors' Recommendations

Michael Allison
A UK-based tech journalist for Digital Trends, helping keep track and make sense of the fast-paced world of tech with a…
Instagram is undoing its TikTok-like changes you hated so much
New features for Instagram Reels

Popular social media service Instagram is reconsidering its pivot to a TikTok-style video feed after recent changes proved to be highly unpopular with its fan base.

Over the past several weeks, Instagram has been testing a version of the app that opened into a feed of full-screen photos and videos, seemingly attempting to morph the service into something that more closely resembles TikTok. Similarly, the new feed also disproportionately pushes seemingly random "recommended" posts, squeezing out content from those folks that Instagram users have actually chosen to follow.

Read more
Instagram and Facebook apps add features, move ever-closer to TikTok parity
Screenshots of full-screen posts on Instagram.

Meta has introduced new tools for the Reels video feature on Instagram and Facebook that are a one-two punch against TikTok. The company announced the new features on Thursday, saying they would make it easier for content creators who prefer one or both of the platforms to their behemoth long-form video competitor to better connect with their audience.

On Instagram, Meta has extended Reels to 90 seconds, giving users more time to express themselves and promote their brands and products. In addition to the extended run time, Reels is also getting stickers that were once exclusive to Instagram Stories. Aside from the captions that are present at the beginning of a video, users will be able to use polls, stickers, and emoji slider stickers when showing their viewers new things or comparing what hairstyle, outfit, or product design they might like best.

Read more
Instagram test lets you pin particular posts to your profile
3D Instagram icon.

Instagram is testing a new feature that would let you pin particular posts above the grid on your profile page.

Testing is currently limited to a select group of users on the platform. To see if you’re one of them, simply go to one of your posts, tap the three dots at the top right, and look for the message “pin to your profile” in the list of options.

Read more