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Instagram’s mute button is fine. Here’s what would be better

I’d kill for something less binary.

Instagram’s mute button is fine. Here’s what would be better
[Photo: courtesy of Instagram]
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Following the lead of Twitter and Facebook, Instagram is rolling out a mute button. It lets you remove other users from your feed without unfollowing them, and it’s a good way to curate what you see without hurting anyone’s feelings.

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However, what I’d kill for—on any social network with an algorithmic feed—is something less binary. This is especially an issue on Facebook, where my feed is often dominated by one or two friends whom I do like hearing from, but not to such an overwhelming degree. They’re probably so prominent in part because they’re especially prolific Facebookers. But the Facebook algorithm, as far as I can tell, also has no clue whose posts I’d most like to see.

Call it a semi-mute button or a “give me somewhat less of this person, please” button, but it would be great to ratchet down certain friends in my feed without stifling them altogether. (Facebook once offered such a feature, but people complained that it didn’t work very well—and now it seems to be gone.)

About the author

Harry McCracken is the technology editor for Fast Company, based in San Francisco. In past lives, he was editor at large for Time magazine, founder and editor of Technologizer, and editor of PC World.

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