Instagram today announced that Stories will begin appearing on the app’s Explore page, allowing the public to discover interesting new stories to watch. The service is also rolling out suicide prevention tools to support struggling users.
The Stories feature was originally unveiled back in August 2016, and people instantly pointed out that Instagram was taking a page from Snapchat’s book by offering “self-destructing” slideshows of photos and videos with a 24-hour lifespan.
“More than 100 million people visit Explore every day to discover photos and videos from people they don’t yet follow,” Instagram writes. “The new suggested stories section highlights the most interesting stories from across Instagram’s vast global community — and like the rest of Explore, the stories you’ll see are personalized to your interests.”
Seventeen reports that Instagram is also releasing suicide prevention features that could help save lives.
If you notice anyone posting about self-harm, you can now anonymous report the post. That user will receive an anonymous message that says: “Someone saw one of your posts and thinks you might be going through a difficult time. If you need support, we’d like to help.”
Tapping a “See Support Resources” button in the message will bring up options for talking to a friend, contacting a help line, and reading tips for supporting yourself in difficult times.
“We listen to mental health experts when they tell us that outreach from a loved one can make a real difference for those who may be in distress. At the same time, we understand friends and family often want to offer support but don’t know how best to reach out,” Instagram COO Marne Levine tells Seventeen. “These tools are designed to let you know that you are surrounded by a community that cares about you, at a moment when you might most need that reminder.”
Instagram users will also be directed to the same support page if they search for hashtags associated with self harm.
To have access to both of these new features, make sure you’re using the latest version of Instagram on iOS and Android.