instagram announced Today it will begin prompting a random assortment of people on its platform in the United States to participate in an optional survey about their race and ethnicity. The company says the survey will help it better understand the different experiences people have on Instagram to ensure that the platform is fair and inclusive for all users.
Instagram says this sign leads to a survey conducted by YouGov, an international research group that specializes in running surveys safely. Unidentified and encrypted responses will be split into portions stored at Instagram’s partner research institutes. The social media giant is working with Oasis Labs, Texas Southern University, University of Central Florida and Northeastern University.
Instagram says this information will help it better understand the experiences of different communities on the app. The survey is also designed to help Instagram determine how its technology might affect different groups and if there are any changes it can make to promote fairness. For example, Instagram says analysis from the survey can be used to understand how its ranking system affects different communities.
The company emphasizes that the survey is optional and is not required. Instagram is also assuring users that it will not link their survey responses back to their accounts. Instagram, YouGov and partner universities do not have the ability to link responses back to Instagram accounts. Instagram also notes that the survey will not limit your experience on Instagram, and will not change your reach or the way people interact with your content.
“We know that historically marginalized groups contribute to creativity to advance culture,” said Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram. in a video About the announcement. “So it’s in our best interest to make sure that Instagram is an experience as great as it can be for all communities. And an important thing here is race. And race is complicated, but if we’re going to make sure That Instagram as an experience is fair and equitable, then we need to understand how it’s working for different communities.”
US users on Instagram will start viewing the survey starting today. Instagram says the survey will appear on its app over the next few months.
Today’s announcement comes after two years Instagram’s equity and inclusion team said it would study How black and other minority users in America are affected by its algorithm. At the time, Mosseri said that Instagram was aware of concerns over whether the platform suppressed black voices.
Instagram attempted to address some of these concerns earlier this year, when it introduced enhanced tags to ensure that black and underrepresented creators get credit for their work. The company had said that the advanced tags allow users to share and view a creator’s specific contribution to a photo or video post. Tag introduction followed content attack By Black creators who have stated that they do not get credit for their work online.
The launch of the survey also comes a week after the Justice Department dealt with meta It alleged that it targeted users with housing ads based on factors such as race, national origin and gender, which are features protected under the Fair Housing Act. Given that Instagram’s new race survey will only run in the US, it’s possible that today’s announcement is related to regulatory pressures that threaten housing ads. Furthermore, Instagram users’ concerns related to race are also not US-specific, but Instagram’s sole focus on the US for the survey further indicates that it is looking to ease regulatory pressures in some ways with this new project.