If you’ve noticed less political content popping up on your Instagram feed lately, it might be because Instagram is now limiting suggested political content on the app.

Users now have to go into their settings in the app and turn the limiting feature off.

Instagram says this feature will not limit political content from accounts you already follow, but will limit political posts from accounts you don’t follow appearing in your feed or in your explore tab.

It says this feature will also roll out on Facebook in future, but hasn’t specified a date.

Here is a step-by-step guide to how you can change your Instagram settings:

Go to your profile, and click the icon in the top right corner that looks like three horizontal lines to access your Settings.

In the search bar search for “content”. 

Different people’s Instagram interfaces may look different, so you will either see ‘Content preferences’ or ‘Suggested content’. Click on this.

Select ‘Political content’. You will see the selection ‘Limit political content from people that you don’t follow’ has been auto-ticked for you. 

You can change it to be ‘Don’t limit political content from people that you don’t follow’.

Why is this happening?

Back in February, Instagram announced via a post on its blog it was no longer going to proactively recommend political content to its users to make Instagram and Threads “a great experience for everyone”.

“If you decide to follow accounts that post political content, we don’t want to get between you and their posts, but we also don’t want to proactively recommend political content from accounts you don’t follow,” Instagram wrote in a blog post on February 9, 2024.

“We won’t proactively recommend content about politics on recommendation surfaces across Instagram and Threads. If you still want these posts recommended to you, you will have control to see them.”

The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, said on Threads the policy change “is to preserve the ability for people to choose to interact with political content, while respecting each person’s appetite for it.”

If you follow political accounts, Instagram says this setting won’t affect how you see this content. 

But public accounts that post political content will no longer be pushed through the Explore page, Reels, In-Feed Recommendations and Suggested Users.

“If political content – potentially related to things like laws, elections, or social topics – is posted by an account that is not eligible to be recommended, that account’s content can still reach their followers in Feed and Stories,” Instagram says.

If users still want to see a range of political content on their feed, they need to follow those accounts and also select the ‘don’t limit’ option in their settings. 

Instagram did not directly notify users the limiting setting was active on their account. 

One user posted on X “instagram quietly introducing a “political” content preference and turning on “limit” by default is insane?”

There have been reports of the Instagram app glitching when users try to turn off the setting. 

Re: News has reached out to Meta about this, but it did not respond in time for the publishing of this article. 

If your app is glitching, make sure you have the latest version of the app. You can do this by going into your App Store and updating the Instagram App and then try again. 

What counts as political content?

Instagram’s blog announcement did not specify what it counts as political content. However, when it comes to advertisements on the platform, Instagram says ads are flagged as political if:

  • They’re made by (or on behalf of), or about a candidate running for public office, a political figure, a political party or advocates for the outcome of an election to public office.
  • They’re about any election, referendum, or ballot initiative, including "go out and vote" or election campaigns.
  • They’re regulated as political advertising.
  • They’re about social issues in the location where the ad is placed. Instagram says social issues are “sensitive topics that are heavily debated, may influence the outcome of an election or result in/relate to existing or proposed legislation”. You can read more about what is considered a social issue here.

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