Meaning and the usage
Instagram has introduced various features over the years. One of these functions, which is extraordinarily popular, is the ‘Restrict feature’.
As the name suggests, the ‘Restrict’ feature enables users to limit their interaction with other accounts on Instagram, thus curtailing the audience from interacting, sliding into direct messages (DM), or even commenting on pictures.
When a user restricts an account, any comments made by the restricted account become exclusively visible only to the user who has restricted it.
In addition, the restricted user’s direct messages are automatically moved to the hidden request folder.
Furthermore, the restricted user will not be able to determine when the user is active on Instagram.
Overall this feature provides influencers with a middle ground between completely blocking interaction and allowing full access to their accounts.
The function is often used to avoid unwanted messages and hates comments or frequent trolling.
It is also used when you want to exclude someone from communication and limit their interactions, but do not want to block them.
Side Note – The concept of ‘restrict’ can be compared to the other similar slang phrase often known as ‘Ghosting’.
Although ghosting isn’t a feature on any social media platform, it is a comparable phenomenon, where an individual is cut off from communication for an extended period of time without any explanation.
The Origin of ‘Restrict’
It is an exclusive feature that was originally introduced to improve user experience by allowing them to limit their interactions with unwanted followers to ensure a positive environment.
It was also meant to prevent harassment and bullying by limiting the interactions of the offender.
The use of this feature has evolved significantly in recent years, especially among the younger generation and public figures (influencers), and the artistic community to protect themselves from online hate.
It is mainly used by marketers and influencers working in the beauty products niche to avoid negative and offensive comments on their profiles.
How to Use ‘Restrict’ in Content Creation
The feature allows influencers to create an exclusive place for themselves by selectively limiting interactions with specific followers.
This allows them to build anticipation and excitement for their content, leading to better engagement and a wider reach on Instagram.
By weeding out unwanted and hateful interactions, influencers can also focus on delivering quality content to their followers on a more personal level.
With a positive and respectful online community, creators may establish trust and loyalty, which can lead to long-term engagement and growth.
Popular Instagram influencers such as Selena Gomez, use the ‘restrict’ feature all the time in their profile, to prevent negative comments and backlash from their followers.
This not only helps avoid controversies but also builds a positive and supportive community among fellow artists.
Similarly, makeup artist James Charles used the term after being subjected to hate comments from the beauty community.
As earlier mentioned, (only in context with content creation,) you can use the “restrict” feature to avoid uncalled communication with followers who are spamming you or posting fake and hateful comments.
All this is in order to promote a healthy interaction environment.
However, it is important to understand and ensure that as an influencer, you are not restricting the free speech of your followers by “limiting” them.
It is also important to understand that restrictions can negatively impact your follower count and reach.
It is a double-edged sword that should be used wisely only when you need it.
Note – The feature should be used if you have a strong following and your primary concern is the safety and image of your brand.
If you are in a growth phase and are subject to insults, you can first try asking the offending audience to remove their comments.
You can also try restricting only some features of your account, such as “tagging”, “comments” or “dm”, rather than blocking all access to your account.
If all this does not work and the criticism is not just that restricting your account is a viable option.
To sum up, the ‘Restrict’ feature is a commendable addition to Instagram and is useful for a layman as well as for content creators for maintaining a healthy and safe platform to share thoughts and opinions by mitigating harassment and negativity.
Incorporating ‘restrict’ can help build more genuine and authentic relationships with followers.
By staying abreast with the latest tools and features like “Restrict”, creators can adapt to changing user preferences all the while providing fresh, innovative, and exciting content to their audience.
Check here for the latest Instagram updates and features.
For more features on other social media platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Snapchat check out our guides here.