Instagram is rolling out a new feature aimed at safeguarding users from receiving unwanted images and videos in their Direct Messages (DMs). The feature is designed to prevent strangers from bombarding users with unsolicited content, making the platform a safer space. The announcement comes after weeks of testing the feature.

The new feature introduces two key restrictions for individuals attempting to send DM requests to people who aren't following them:

  • One-message limit: Instead of being able to send multiple DM requests, users will now be restricted to sending just one initial message to someone who doesn't follow them.
  • Text-only invites: DM requests can only contain text initially. This means that images, videos, or voice notes can only be shared once the recipient accepts the request to chat.

Instagram believes that these changes will prevent users from receiving unwanted visual content from people they don't follow, and also hinder repetitive messages from strangers. This update is especially important for women, who often experience unsolicited and inappropriate images in their DMs.

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Cindy Southworth, the head of Women's Safety at Meta, stated, "We want people to feel confident and in control when they open their inbox. That's why we're testing new features that mean people can't receive images, videos or multiple messages from someone they don't follow, until they've accepted the request to chat. We're grateful for the feedback we hear from our community — and we'll keep listening to find ways to help everyone feel safer on Instagram."