Let’s face it, we probably all spend too much time on Instagram. Even Meta, the parent company of the platform, knows that an app can be harmful to users. In recent months, he has rolled out features designed to make Instagram safer for teens, or at least safe enough to keep regulators from cracking down.
Now, Instagram has announced some features that could make the site less of a slop. The first is the feature that WIRED stands for: the absence message. A new setting called Silent mode, lets you turn off all notifications, and even sends an automatic reply to anyone who PMs you, letting them know you’re not available. It’s not as drastic as just turning off all your notifications, but it’s a start. You can also set silent mode for a specific time. Back in normal mode, Instagram will show you a summary of what you missed. (They should make sure you get back to scrolling at some point.) If Instagram knows a user is a teenager, it will regularly send them prompts to use Quiet Mode, which probably only annoys them.
Instagram is also getting another feature to make browsing less annoying. You can now hide recommended posts on your Explore page, which will also help train the Instagram algorithm to show you less of what you don’t want to see. You can also ask it not to show you posts that contain or link to certain words or topics. Any posts that don’t contain terms or topics you’ve chosen will appear less frequently in search, overview, and videos. (Unfortunately, you still can’t just turn off the drums completely.)
Here’s some more news from the world of consumer technology.
Google also wants to find your stuff
Apple’s AirTags is a downright boring tool for finding things. They are also easily used tools for stalkers. A simple location-tracking device is both effective and controversial, and Apple has sold millions of them. Obviously, Google also wants to participate in this game.
This week there are rumors about the possibilities of Google. AirTags competitor. There was no official announcement of the product, but Cuba Wojciechowski, developer and permanent secret keeper of Google, dug up some code this indicates that Google may be working on such a device.
Of course, the existence of the Google tracker is just speculation. There are no details on when the device might come out, how much it will cost, or even what Google will call it. So far, it is known only under the code name Grogu. (Yes, that’s Baby Yoda’s name.)
Amazon announced that he is closing his philanthropic Amazon Smile donation program. In a press release, the company wrote that its program, which has more than a million charities collaborating, is “too bloated.”
While Amazon says its decision to close Smile is practical, it may not be the only reason. Amazon has certainly felt financial strain due to the looming economic downturn. In recent weeks, Amazon has fired thousands of workers and reduce costs for departments such as the Alexa platform and drone delivery program.