Instagram is one of the most popular platforms for sharing photos and short videos. While the platform launched back in October 2010 was initially popular among celebrities, it recently emerged as a place for individuals to highlight public issues. We also saw Instagram becoming as a medium in the recent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in India and the 2019 Hong Kong protests. Having said that, just like Facebook and other social media platforms, Instagram also get many posts that spread fake news and misinformation. This could be the reason why you want to deactivate your Instagram account, or maybe social media has become just too much for you.
For deactivation, Instagram provides two options. You can either temporarily deactivate your account or delete your account to permanently remove your profile as well as photos, videos, comments, likes, and followers. If you’ve decided to move on completely, you should go with the option to delete your account.
How to temporarily deactivate your Instagram account?
To temporarily deactivate your Instagram account, you need to follow the steps provided below.
Log into your Instagram account from a mobile browser or computer by visiting https://instagram.com.
Tap or click your profile icon from the top-right corner and then select the Edit Profile option.
Now, scroll down and then tap or click the Temporarily disable my account option in the bottom right.
Instagram will show you a page with a drop-down menu next to Why are you disabling your account? You’ll need to pick an option from the menu and then re-enter your password. The drop-down menu includes options such as Can’t find people to follow, Concerned about my data, Just need a break, Privacy concerns, Too busy/ too distracting, Too many ads, and Want to remove something. You can also pick the Something else option if you don’t want to specify your reason for temporary deactivation.
Tap or click the Temporarily Disable Account button to accomplish the deactivation process.
It is worth noting that you can’t temporarily deactivate your account using the Instagram app on your mobile devices. Also, if the account has been deactivated, you can reactivate it by simply logging back. Your Instagram profile, photos, comments, and likes will be hidden until you reactivate your account. Furthermore, you can temporarily deactivate your Instagram account only once a week.
Instagram has provided the options to set your posts private or block people, in case if you don’t want to deactivate your account but want to make changes to adjust your privacy and preferences.
That said, if you don’t want to deactivate but permanently delete your Instagram account, there is a separate workaround.
How to delete your Instagram account permanently?
If you want to delete your Instagram account permanently, you need to follow the steps provided below. It is important to note that once you delete your account, you can’t sign up again using the same username or add that username to another account. Instagram also can’t reactivate any deleted accounts.
To permanently delete your Instagram account, go to the Delete Your Account page after logging into Instagram on the Web.
Now, you’ll be required to select an option from the drop-down menu next to Why are you deleting your account? There are options such as Too many ads, Privacy concerns, Concerned about my data, Created a second account, Trouble getting started, Want to remove something, and Can’t find people to follow. Instagram will provide with the links to some of the articles in its Help Center related to your reason. You can also choose the option titled Something else from the drop-down menu if your particular reason for deletion isn’t in the list.
You’ll now have to re-enter your password.
Click or tap the Permanently delete my account button.
Once you click or tap the Permanently delete my account button, your photos, comments, likes, and followers on Instagram will be removed permanently and won’t be recoverable. Also, as mentioned above, you won’t be able to sign up using the same username again in the future.
If you have a separate account that you’d like to delete permanently, click the username of that account from the top-right corner of the Delete Your Account page, tap or click on the settings gear option next to the username and then select Log Out. You’ll now need to log in with the account that you want to delete and then follow the aforementioned steps.
You can also switch to the temporarily deactivation page directly from the Delete Your Account page if you don’t want to delete your Instagram account permanently.
Just like temporarily deactivating, deletion of an Instagram account works only through the Web browsers and isn’t provided through an option in the Instagram apps.
In the near past, Instagram has tried to reduce the number of deactivation and deletion of accounts by making certain changes. The Facebook-owned platform rolled out a ‘Restrict’ option to let users stop people who bully them by posting offensive content and passing abusive comments. It also added a ‘Caption Warning’ feature to flag objectionable captions.
Instagram in August introduced a fact-checking programme in the US that enabled users to flag fake news on the platform. However, the initiative was found to have a limited scope to remove disinformation. Instagram also recently announced that in order to fight against misinformation, it is partnering with fact-checkers around the world. The platform already started working with third-party allies in the US to help identify, review, and label posts spreading bogus content to the public.
Last month, Instagram started requiring birthdates from all new users to expand the audience for ads on age-restricted products and bring new safety measures for young users who are at least 13 years old. The platform, however, doesn’t ask for a proof to verify birthdates and would rely on artificial intelligence to verify the facts provided by its users.
Instagram has over a billion monthly active users across the globe. The Stories feature on Instagram is touted to be used by over 500 million users on a daily basis. Moreover, Instagram completes strongly against Snapchat that has over 210 million daily active users.
This story is a part of our playbook for VidSpark, a Poynter initiative to bring local news to younger audiences. We worked with three local newsrooms over the course of 2020 to create social media video series aimed at GenZ viewers. Find our entire playbook here.
Over the course of 12 months, The Star Tribune went from having no visible content on its YouTube channel to publishing videos that have amassed thousands of views. Tribune staff did this while covering an intense news cycle, including the killing of George Floyd in their community.
We’re breaking down how The Star Tribune spun up a new social-first video series, how they managed their workflow, and what major takeaways they’ve had from the process.
Video: Watch The Star Tribune staff explain their process of building the social-first series Tomorrow Together
The Star Tribune needed to reach younger audiences to be sustainable and relevant in the long term. At the start of the VidSpark program, staffers were creating content primarily with their website in mind, which did not attract a young audience. Creating social-first video geared towards younger viewers would be a new muscle.
Initially, The Star Tribune’s YouTube channel was dormant. It had been used in the past primarily as a back end to the Tribune’s website, and for hosting livestreams. We decided to refresh the channel and its branding, adding a fresh color scheme and an abbreviated tagline.
The Star Tribune did have a strong presence on Instagram with visually stunning photography, but it had not been posting much video there, and had not used IGTV. We decided to go with Instagram as our secondary social video platform.
The Star Tribune’s YouTube makeover: January 2020 to January 2021
The core team for the project consisted of three people. Video journalist Mark Vancleave carried out the physical production of the videos, including shooting, editing and much of the writing. Senior video producer Jenni Pinkley oversaw the project and editorial, planning, and she assisted in finding sources for stories. Alexis Allston, an audience engagement producer, was the primary host and worked on audience engagement and marketing.
In addition, the team worked with an in-house designer at the outset of the project to develop the look and feel of the show. When Allston’s responsibilities mounted, the team brought in a second host for some episodes.
Poynter provided guidance that focused on what would resonate with younger viewers and what styles worked best for the platforms. Jillian Banner, VidSpark’s assistant editor for video strategy, and I gave coaching and feedback on scripts, video cuts, audience development, analytics and overall strategy.
With the outbreak of the pandemic, The Star Tribune team wanted to create a series that spoke to how their community was coming together to find a way forward and create a new normal. We came up with “Tomorrow Together,” which looks at how Minnesota is rapidly changing in the midst of the pandemic. The series launched with a trailer on May 5, and the first episode on May 6.
With the death of George Floyd in their city, the content pivoted to include how their community was dealing with police reform. The series, which ran nine episodes over the course of seven months in 2020, documented on-the-ground perspectives and broke down local community action.
Tomorrow Together: How Black and brown artists are making their voices heard after George Floyd’s killing
The Star Tribune’s previous video work was typically documentary or interview-based. The “Tomorrow Together” series spoke to those strengths while pushing their capabilities in hosted content.
Allston was new to hosting, and though she was well-versed in the conventions of the platform, finding her natural voice was an initial challenge. The first few episodes were directed remotely, with Allston learning how to film herself. Eventually, Allston and Vancleave began to film in-studio and could work together more directly. They began to do table reads of scripts and talk through ways to sound natural while filming.
Developing comfort with the camera as a host takes time, but Allston began to find her stride a few episodes in. Allston’s hosting time was limited, and arranging a studio shoot took significant time as their team was not working from the office. Reporter Zoë Jackson stepped in as a second host who could speak to her area of expertise and alleviate some of the hosting responsibility.
Producer Mark Vancleave filming with host Zoë Jackson. (Courtesy: Mark Vancleave)
Vancleave was skilled at capturing interviews and visually captivating footage in the field. Audiences resonated with hearing from on-the-street community voices and appreciated the production value of the visual portraits of the city. Not having a dedicated script writer on the team made the hosted format more difficult and, as a result, the episodes increasingly focused on showcasing community perspectives and experiences rather than on the host conveying information.
The topics discussed within the series dovetailed with The Star Tribune’s existing coverage. This allowed the team to pull in footage and sources that had been captured across the newsroom, and to engage reporters with relevant expertise for editorial review. The series became an outlet to tell more in-depth video stories, outside of showing raw news video. The show’s relevance to the current moment helped the series to continue, even with the pressures of breaking news.
On average, The Star Tribune published an episode once every third week. This was less than our goal of publishing every other week, but the flexibility in the release schedule helped to accommodate breaking news events.
One area of growth in the team’s workflow came with paying more attention to the steps beyond the video export, particularly the episode title and thumbnail image. Taking time to work on developing a title and thumbnail made a significant difference in audience engagement. Thinking about these elements early in the process allowed the team to construct and frame the story in a way that would be engaging to viewers from the start of their encounter with the episode.
After each video was posted to YouTube, it was embedded within a story on The Star Tribune’s website, a large source of initial traffic. Vancleave re-edited a vertical cut of the video to post on Instagram within IGTV. This took an additional day, but vertical video on Instagram is more engaging as it fills the frame on the platform when shared, particularly in Instagram stories.
By several months in, the team had refined their production flow. Below are the phases of production for a “Tomorrow Together” episode. Sometimes these phases would overlap by a day, occasionally by a day on each end. News, scheduling conflicts, and other unforeseen events frequently broke up this time.
Here’s how Vancleave breaks down The Star Tribune’s production process:
Phase 1: Brainstorming and research (1-2 days)
Develop a topic and angle for the episode
Gather prior reporting to prepare outline and script
Evaluate available visual elements to incorporate (e.g. file video, third party content)
Identify potential sources and situations to shoot/interview
Phase 2: Outlining and scheduling (1-2 days)
Write an outline with basic episode structure
Schedule key interviews (virtual or on-location)
Write and share social media callouts for virtual interview sources
Phase 3: Content production (2-3 days)
Schedule and record virtual interviews with sources
Shoot real-world events and subjects
Record and collect third party video content
Phase 4: Scripting (1-2 days)
Transcribe and annotate interviews and third party content
Write rough draft with a paper edit of video content
Review scripts with reporters for accuracy
Begin building a video timeline with available material
Phase 5: Record hosted segments (1 day)
Do a read-through with host and finalize script
Record hosted segments
Continue to build video timeline and graphics
Phase 6: Editing and post-production (1-3 days)
Complete video timeline with hosted segments and graphics
Share rough cut for feedback
Phase 7: Pre-publishing (1 day)
Finish episode with music, b-roll and graphics
Write episode title, description and keywords
Build thumbnails for all platforms
Make teaser videos/GIFs
Upload and prepare in YouTube
Phase 8: Post-publishing (1 day)
Publish the episode on YouTube. Coordinate engagement and social media plans
Re-edit IGTV version with closed captions graphics
Post to IGTV (usually within a day or two of YouTube episode)
Overall, the audience response to the show has been positive, and viewership is growing. A typical video would receive around 1,300 views on YouTube and 6,000 views on Instagram. The final video produced in the program, featuring perspectives of young Minnesotan voters right before the 2020 election, reached 100,000 views organically on YouTube. Viewership on videos produced after the program has continued to increase.
Because our goal was to appeal to Gen Z, Poynter conducted an audience panel with Gen Z participants to get direct feedback. The participants appreciated that the topics of videos related to the issues they were facing in their lives, and appreciated seeing students featured. While the lower quality of video-call interviews was not noted, participants did enjoy seeing relevant and illustrative b-roll, and liked that visuals were not primarily stock imagery. Overall, participants liked the structure and pacing of episodes and rated them positively.
Through the “Tomorrow Together” project, The Star Tribune opened up new channels to reach audiences that they are continuing to use going forward. “We were appreciative to have this project in this year to make space for us to create different kinds of video and it’s been so worth it, and absolutely something that we’re going to stick with,” Pinkley said.
On YouTube, they’re experimenting with using voiceovers rather than an on-camera host. They’re also continuing to use IGTV, including publishing news video captured in the field, Instagram live discussions with reporters, and videos featuring voices from the community.
As businesses lean on social more heavily to reach their audiences, the importance of a strong destination page is imperative. You can have a powerful social presence with a loyal following and still fail to see a return on investment if your website fails to meet consumer needs and standards.
In a recent article, Website Builder Expert shared stats on the impact of website design on consumer behavior, and the numbers are shocking.
“It only takes 50 milliseconds for visitors to form an opinion about your website… And 94% of those first impressions are design related.”