Instagram brings sensitive content controls to more places on the platform

Instagram app's splash screen
Instagram on Android (Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Instagram's sensitive content controls have been expanded beyond the "Explore" tab.
  • You'll soon be able to limit how much sensitive content appears in Search, Reels, account recommendations, hashtag pages, and in-feed recommendations.
  • The feature will be available to Instagram users in the coming weeks.

Instagram's sensitive content filters will soon be applied to all recommended content that appears across the platform. This week, the photo and video sharing service announced that it will expand its sensitive content controls beyond the "Explore" tab.

The feature was introduced last summer to let you control how much or how little sensitive content appears in the app's Explore section. In the coming weeks, Instagram will allow you to use the same filters in "Search, Reels, Accounts You Might Follow, Hashtag Pages, and In-Feed Recommendations."

You'll also notice some changes in how Instagram labels these filters compared to when they were launched last year. The three options are now “More”, “Standard,” and “Less." That said, they still serve the same purpose for filtering content.

The default filter is set to standard, which hides some sensitive content and accounts. However, you can choose "More," which relaxes the restrictions slightly so that you can see more sensitive content and accounts if you prefer. On the other hand, “Less” filters out more sensitive content.

Users under the age of 18 won't be able to see the option to see more sensitive content.

(Image credit: Instagram)

To enable the content filters, go to your profile and tap the menu icon in the upper right-hand corner. Navigate to "Account" and then select the "Sensitive content control" option.

Instagram makes it clear that content classified as sensitive does not necessarily violate its community guidelines. However, these types of content could be potentially "upsetting to some people." This includes content that may depict violence, materials that may be sexually explicit or suggestive, and content that promotes the use of certain regulated products. More information is available here.

The Meta-owned platform isn't alone in enforcing content controls covering sensitive photos and videos. Other social platforms, such as TikTok, also filter out content that goes against their own recommendation guidelines. Google was also recently spotted developing a "restricted mode" for Google TV that would limit the visibility of content deemed inappropriate for children.

Assuming more people use Instagram's filters, the new update could mean limited audience reach for accounts that publish content covered by Instagram's strict parameters for sensitive content, including sexually suggestive materials.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.