Yes, you read that headline correctly. The social media giant published a blog post called “Understanding How Different Communities Experience Instagram” on Thursday morning. Among other things, Instagram outlined its plans to begin asking some users about their race and ethnicity in order to better understand the experiences of certain groups on its platform.
“When we established the Equity team, we wanted to understand how people from historically marginalized communities experience Instagram. For the last two years, we prioritized extensive research to better understand the concerns raised by these communities, and we made significant improvements in our products as a result. However, if we don’t know people’s race or ethnicity, we’re limited in our ability to assess how our products impact different communities,” the blog post explains.
With the help of You Gov, Instagram will begin instituting surveys across its platform regarding users’ demographical identities. From there, the social media platform will begin analyzing the data for various purposes.
“Instagram will only have access to aggregated information, which means we can’t connect people or their Instagram accounts to their individual responses,” the blog post claims.
Instagram also claims that each survey response is encrypted and protected by Meta.
“User responses are encrypted and split apart, with distributed algorithmic computations and data storages at different institutions so that no one can link survey responses to Instagram accounts.”
For more information regarding these surveys, please read Instagram’s blog post in full here.