There's been a lot of chatter over the past month about the Instagram Mute button, and now it's finally rolled out to the public.
What is the Instagram Mute Button?
In case you weren't aware of the newly featured Mute button, Instagram users can now mute a person's posts, a person's stories, or both directly in feed, or from their profile. Once you mute somebody, it is unlimited. They stay muted until you unmute them.
It's very similar to Facebook's Unfollow feature than it is Facebook's Snooze. Facebook Snooze only snoozes somebody for 30 days. Unfollow lets you stay friends, but not see the users content in your feed anymore.
Also, you cannot see if you've been muted, or how many times you've been muted. So this is a watch out for influencers and brands producing low-value content. The analytics available on Facebook let you see when negative things have happened to your post. People either hid the post, or people unfollowed you because of a post. You're able to see that in Facebook analytics and insights, but Instagram's analytics do not currently have metrics related to the Mute button.
Why A Mute Button?
I think this largely comes back to Instagram trying to create a better user experience for people. When Instagram first launched, many users followed tons of accounts to build up their profile, many of which are probably irrelevant today, so it seems that Instagram is trying to create an easy way for you to back off and curate your feed in a way that's more interesting to you, to improve the user experience. For influencers that are constantly producing branded content, the majority of your posts have #ad or #sponsored, you might want to take caution with your future content and mix things up with organic/personal posts. I say this because if you're tiresome in your promotion of branded products, you're more likely to get hit with Mute button.
What Does This Mean for Influencer Marketing?
That's all the information we have at this point, but I predict that in the next six months or so, Instagram is going to have a collection of data to see what a normal Mute rate for a person is. And if you're an influencer that has an above average Mute rate, I think the algorithm's going to be tweaked to punish your content. To avoid this, make sure you're providing content that adds a lot of value, make sure you're not being quietly muted too often, and hopefully, everything will be fine.
As we get more data on the Instagram Mute button, how it's used, and its impact on influencer marketing, we'll be sure to share it on the Spin.