Skip to main content

Instagram makes comments easy to navigate with threaded replies

Instagram's newest feature lets users in on its algorithm.
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Instagram is making comments easier to navigate. On August 15, Instagram launched comment threads, a new format that makes it easy to see which comments are original and which ones are responses to other comments. The new Instagram comments design began rolling out Tuesday.

With the update, users can hit the “reply” button underneath any comment and the response will appear grouped underneath the original comment.

“Comment threads help you keep track of conversations and make it easy to respond to a specific thread,” Instagram shared in a blog post. “This update will make your feed an even better place to share interests, get inspired, and connect with others.”

Before the update, hitting the reply button simply tagged the user at the beginning of the comment. Following the thread of conversations with the comments all on one level proved difficult, particularly for longer conversations or posts that sparked more than one comment thread.

The update brings Instagram’s comments closer to those of parent company Facebook’s, which has allowed nested comments on its app since around 2012. The two still remain pretty distinct, however, considering that Facebook allows for emoji responses to comments as well as for using photos, videos, and GIFs inside replies.

The move by Instagram is part of an ongoing effort on the company’s part to help users regulate the comments on their photos. Last year, the platform launched a tool designed to block comments containing specific keywords. Instagram has also been fighting against spam and offensive comments through enhanced artificial intelligence algorithms for detecting and automatically removing the offensive comments.

The update joins the platform’s continued efforts to reduce the number of “bots” or computers using fake profiles to comment on other posts in order to gain followers. Instagram has already shut down Instagress as well as several other similar botting platforms.

So will Instagram’s latest move make the comment section a friendly place? While some users already have access to the new, more organized comments, Instagram says the feature will roll out globally in the next few weeks with an update in both the App Store and Google Play.

Editors' Recommendations

Hillary K. Grigonis
Hillary never planned on becoming a photographer—and then she was handed a camera at her first writing job and she's been…
Twitter’s new hide reply tool lets you publicly ignore comments
Hand holding a Twitter phone

Twitter users can now hide replies, without going as far as removing them from the platform entirely. After testing the tool earlier this year, Twitter announced (via tweet, of course) that users can now hide replies. The option begins rolling out on Thursday, November 21, after previous tests in the United States, Japan, and Canada.

The hide reply tool is meant to put some replies out of the spotlight without deleting them entirely -- after all, as soon as networks launch more options for users to control content, critics cry censorship. The hidden replies are no longer directly under the tweet, but can still be viewed inside a dedicated section housing such replies, if users actually make the effort to go look for them.

Read more
Instagram’s IGTV contracts won’t allow creators to make political videos 
igtv stand alone app vs inside instagram 2

Instagram will pay for celebrities’ video production for IGTV, but its contract stipulates the performers “must not include content about social issues, elections, or politics,” according to Bloomberg News. IGTV is Instagram’s answer to YouTube, and the clause sounds different from what parent company Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said about banning political ads.

“There’s a pretty big difference between allowing political speech and funding it directly,” Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, tweeted in response to the Bloomberg News article. He added that the platform “welcomes all points of view.”

Read more
Instagram enhances midnight scrolls with dark mode — here’s how to turn it on
most instagrammed locations

Instagram is going dark to make those midnight scrolls easier on the eyes. An update brings compatibility with the iOS 13 and Android 10 dark mode to the photo-centric social platform, as well as a new feature to prevent phishing. Instagram boss Adam Mosseri shared the new dark mode feature via a late-night tweet (because, dark mode) on October 7.

Instagram’s new dark mode works with the device-wide dark mode -- when the feature is activated in iOS 13 or Android 10, all the compatible apps will automatically switch to dark mode. While some apps allow for overriding that feature and switching just the app over to the dark side, Instagram’s dark mode only works with the device’s operating system, for now.

Read more