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Instagram updates
Instagram updates include, from left, removing followers, liking comments and turning off comments. (Instagram Photo)

Instagram is giving users more controls to dictate who says and sees what when it comes to images on the popular photo and video sharing service.

Co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom outlined the tweaks in a blog post on Tuesday in which he said that the new tools are aimed at keeping people safe and helping to maintain Instagram as a “positive place for self-expression.”

Instagram iconUsers who just want to share a post without anyone mucking up the process with rude or silly comments will soon be able to do so. Instagram will offer the ability to turn off comments on selected images. Systrom writes that this can be done by tapping “Advanced Settings” before you post and then selecting “Turn Off Commenting.” You can also tap the … menu any time after posting to turn commenting back on.

If you’re especially fond of comments and want to let commenters know they hit the mark, Instagram is also adding the ability to “like” select musings by tapping a small heart icon next to any comment. This adds positivity to the community, Systrom believes.

Other changes on the way include the ability for private accounts to remove followers. Previously, users need to block a follower in order to stop them from seeing a feed once they had been approved as a follower. Now you can just find a person in your list of followers, tap the … menu and remove, and the person won’t be notified.

Systrom also said that Instagram is adding a layer of protection for users who may be in danger of self-injury. Users can soon anonymously report if they see friends, conveying through postings, that they are struggling and possibly thinking about hurting themselves. Instagram will connect that friend to organizations that offer help, thanks to teams that are constantly on the job monitoring reports.

Previously, Instagram added a keyword feature to block unwanted comments from posts.

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