Is Meta improving Instagram's privacy? Maybe.


Move to Twitter/X instead? Read the fine print before you do.

How much do you trust the Meta family of fine apps? The company certainly has had a rough few years, starting with the Cambridge Analytica faux pax, but now there may be a new verse in the book of "Instagram" in its privacy bible: “We giveth and we taketh away.” 

Lia Habereman, who teaches Social and Influencer Marketing at UCLA, picked up the scent of that addition and posted it on X (formerly known as Twitter), saying that the addition of a “Close Friends'' option could be coming to Instagram. 

“This would be one way to get people off Stories and out of DMs — create a Close Friends feed experience,”  she wrote. One that would likely allow Instagram’ers to only show certain posts to those a person deems close and trustworthy as opposed to posting to their “regular/normal” profile for the world to see.

Andrew Hutchinson, content and social media manager, at SocialMediaToday, likes where this is going. He thinks this new option is a smart move that matches up with how many people are using Instagram these days. 

“Sharing posts with close friends only is another step along this path, which could help users feel more comfortable about sharing more often if they know that only a few trusted people will see that update,” Hutchinson said.

“It’s not a major change, and functionally, it’s not a big shift either. But it would provide another option to facilitate more enclosed group discussion, which could help IG lean into the latest behavioral trends.”

The whole family is in on the dance, it appears

One might think that if Meta’s new Twitter (er, X) killer “Threads” is an official part of Instagram, there would be some privacy-forward movement there, too. But no such luck according to a new study by HomeSecurityHeroes – one that claims Threads is the “worst social media platform for protecting user privacy,” collecting 50% more personal data than X.

In fact, Meta’s entire family – Instagram, Threads, Facebook, and Messenger – is extremely notorious for collecting the most user data for advertising and marketing purposes. As a unit, they track an astonishing 86% of personal information.

So, should you move to X?

If you want a social media app that’s part of the elite, then your best bet was X. The survey said X only collects 50% of available data, but that was then and this is now and “now” means X’s new sheriff – Elon Musk – is changing things up in regards to privacy.

Mashable’s research team recently went over the company’s new Privacy Policy word by word and their takeaway was this: “There are some interesting bits, and some slightly worrying bits, though deciphering what exactly they mean is not entirely straightforward.”

Compared to Twitter’s old privacy policy, X is now collecting some new types of data, including employment history, educational history, and biometric data. “The company also plans to use that data in new ways, most importantly to train AI,” said Mashable’s Caitlin Welsh and Stan Schroeder. “Have this in mind before you hand over your data to X.”

Find a Solar Energy partner near you.