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How COVID-19 has changed and will change Instagram

Published at 11.02.2021

In the schools, on the streets, in all of our lives, Corona, aka COVID 19, has left its mark. And unfortunately, we're not out of the woods yet. So it's no wonder that Instagram isn't just carrying on as it did before the pandemic.

The following changes have occurred since the Corona Crisis began - some were made immediately, others are still quite recent. However, they have one thing in common: Instagram is an additional means of information and cohesion in this time of crisis. This is partly because Instagram is always trying to keep up with the times, and partly because users have gone through some changes as well.

What Instagram has changed within the app

The first six changes have been made by Instagram itself. Various Functions are currently part of the app concept. All of them are intended to make it easier and more conscientious for us to navigate through this crisis.

Information display WHO in search

Anyone who wants to start a search on Instagram has been seeing the following words for a while now: "Fighting COVID-19. Below are two Instagram channels that will show up to any searcher, whether they subsequently search for #motivationmonday or Cristiano Ronaldowants to look for.

The first account belongs to the Federal Ministry of Health It's not exclusively about Corona, but at the moment this topic takes up more space than anything else. Thus, clicking on the account is also one of the fastest ways to find new information about Corona and protective measures.

The second account belongs to the World Health Organization WHO for short. This branch of the United Nations provides guidance in English, not from a specific government, but from the UN's technical committee. Again, it's not exclusively about COVID-19, but everyone can be sure to get the latest and most reliable information here.

With that, Instagram has two of the most secure Sources for health questions , especially also around Corona, made permanently available for users. The WHO display is also the international standard, while the second account is determined regionally. What in Germany is the Federal Ministry of Health, is in England, for example, the NHS (National Health Service).

Corona clues in stories, feed posts, and reels.

Also, specific searches for #corona or #covid19 will immediately lead Instagram to suggest the official channels of WHO and Co. In many Stories and feed posts on this topic, Instagram also inserts a small note that also takes the user to further information.

This is no coincidence, because Instagram has itself made it clear that it takes its task as a platform very seriously. Under no circumstances does one want to be reproached, To spread misinformation Therefore, no Corona contributions should appear in the recommendations that do not come from reliable sources.

Fact checking and deletion of dubious accounts

Misinformation and conspiracy claims are a big problem during the pandemic. Instagram knows this too and is taking action against it. Basically, Instagram classifies the issue of COVID-19 as a sensitive on. Doubtful contributions are not listed on the so-called Explore Page displayed.

Furthermore, Instagram reserves the right (in accordance with the TOS) to delete posts and accounts that spread clear misinformation about Corona. In doing so, they follow the official guidelines of WHO and other recognized health organizations. In addition, according to Instagram, there will be independent reviewers who will look into which posts are not only dubious, but even Incorrect and thus harmful are.

Also Product advertisements The posts that refer to Corona will be scrutinized by Instagram. For example, it is not allowed to use scare tactics to suggest that products need to be bought immediately. A promise of a cure is also forbidden and can lead to a blocking of the account.

We stay at home stickers

So we see, Instagram is already doing a lot to make the platform a place of sharing and readily available information, while at the same time they want to protect themselves and users from maliciousness.

But that's not all: Instagram also aims to strengthen cohesion. All users can post a sticker in their stories that shows: We stay at home Especially at the beginning of the pandemic, millions of people thus quickly and clearly demonstrated their compliance with quarantine regulations and contact reduction.

In addition to We stay at home Instagram also has the sticker #Thank you to all helpers added to express how important those who currently keep our world running are.

Donate Sticker

For those who want to do their part by doing more than just following the rules, Instagram is also a very quick and easy way to donate or call for donations However, this is not exclusively about Corona.

This function is open to everyone and the charities listed need support not just in these times. Who the donation sticker in his story can support, for example, the German Cancer Aid, DKMS Germany or Save the Children.

Support Small Businesses /Support Small Businesses

Especially for the Corona time was the sticker "Support Small Businesses" which we introduced in Germany under "Support small businesses" know. In these crazy months, a lot of companies are getting a lot richer - only these are often the companies that were already pretty big and successful before the pandemic.

Lockdown, lockdown-light, protective measures - whatever we call it, it's primarily Small business which are currently facing major problems. This makes it all the more important to support these companies. That's what Instagram is doing with their Support small business stickers especially clear. Instagram prompts you to tag your favorite small business after clicking the sticker, so all your followers can see who you're loyal to these days.

How we have changed on Instagram

When parties are cancelled, we can't go to the football and travelling isn't an option, we have to find other things to do - so we're on the internet more than we were before the pandemic ( Source).

But as we humans are, we make the best of a difficult situation. Social media channels like Instagram are used, to keep in touch with friends and follow the latest happenings in the world. After all, we no longer find out by chance in a bar or at a family reunion what the important topics are right now - we use Instagram and Co. for that.

When we talk about how Corona has changed Instagram, it's not enough to just talk about the official Talking about changes. Because every user also has a different way to use Instagram. So the Reel function used by a lot of people to get in the lockdown the progress of small projects to document. Some people renovate their apartments and houses, others learn a new hobby or get in shape.

Other sources besides the official

Even non-official Corona information is becoming more accessible through Instagram. News pages report on little heartwarming stories of neighborhood help or fundraising. Comedy accounts bring the latest developments to the reader not dryly via text, but pack the whole thing into memes. In stories or reels, Corona topics are packed into short sketches. The creativity in dealing with this difficult situation knows no bounds.

Instagram and Corona in the future

Since December 2020, many countries around the world have been busy vaccinating. Thus, one of the latest changes on Instagram is that even Questions about vaccinations are classified as sensitive by the app and are thus provided with notices.

These and other changes could be an indication of that, How Instagram will deal with such and similar issues in the future. After all, Instagram's reactions are not exclusive to COVID-19. Bullying, discrimination and radicalization are also - not only on Instagram -...is always a topic of contention.

Thus, we can surmise that Instagram's pandemic response in the coming years as a kind of Timetable could be used for further "problems". Political conflicts, environmental disasters, online crime - here have Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Co. have received more frequent accusations in the past due to a lack of countermeasures. It would be quite conceivable that such a far-reaching information campaign as for COVID-19 will soon become standard for other complex issues.