With 153 million followers, Selena Gomez is one of the most popular stars on Instagram – only Ariana Grande and Cristiano Ronaldo are ahead of her, plus Instagram’s own official account. Yet in June 2019, Gomez revealed that she’d deleted the app from her own phone, because “it would make me feel not good about myself, and look at my body differently… I used to use it a lot but I think it’s become really unhealthy for young people, including myself, to spend all of their time fixating on all of these comments and letting this stuff in”. Not the endorsement that Instagram would have been hoping for, but reflective of wider concerns about social media in general.
Anyway, Instagram is trying to push the narrative around its platform in a more positive direction now: witness Time’s feature ‘Inside Instagram’s War on Bullying’, where the app’s chief Adam Mosseri talks about a “pivotal moment” for the Facebook subsidiary. “We will make decisions that mean people use Instagram less if it keeps people more safe,” he promised. “If you’re not addressing issues on your platform, I have to believe it’s going to come around and have a real cost.” The article goes in to some depth on exactly how Instagram is trying to tackle issues like bullying.