Instagram has added a new DM filter option for creators, which will enable you to filter your inbox to only messages from profiles that you follow in the app.

Instagram people you follow filter in DMs

As you can see in this example, the new “People you follow” option will enable you to prioritize DMs from only the profiles that you’ve chosen to follow, which could make it easier to prioritize personal connection.

As explained by Instagram chief Adam Mosseri:

“We’re adding a filter for people you follow because maybe you DM a lot of people you don’t follow yet, negotiating deals, figuring out collaborations. But sometimes you just want to focus the experience on people you know, in order to make the experience a bit safer and more positive.”

So for people who get a lot of IG DMs, it could be a handy addition, helping to ensure that you don’t miss any messages from the people that you care about most, while also facilitating a more separated experience from other DM uses.

More friendly experiences have become a key focus for Meta more broadly, as it works to maximize engagement in its apps. Over the past year, engagement on both Facebook and Instagram has increased, primarily on the back of AI-recommended Reels in user feeds, which have driven more positive engagement based on humor and memes, as opposed to divisive political content.

Meta’s now trying to expand that approach to its new real-time text app Threads, by reducing the presence of political content in the app, in the hopes that it can carry over that more joyful experience in new forms, while also lessening scrutiny around its broader political influence.

It’ll be interesting to see whether Meta can actually make that work in a real-time discussion app, but the initiative, as with this new element, is focused on fostering more personal, positive connections, as opposed to making it too stressful and leaving people less inclined to keep coming back.

A new DM filter is another small part of this, and if Meta can somehow distance itself from angst, and drive more happiness, it could be on a path to keeping more users engaged.

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