One of the challenges of social media marketing is keeping up with the continually changing rules of each platform. Though it’s been around for over a decade, social media platforms are still on the cutting edge when it comes to using the latest technology. Often, social media networks are making changes on the fly to address problems with their platform. And if a user or marketer isn’t paying attention, they may lose their account for breaking the rules. Last week, Instagram announced a new feature that will warn users that their account is about to be deleted.

In the past, Instagram users who ran afoul of the rules could wake up one day to find out they could no longer log into the platform. Often, users wouldn’t know why their accounts were deleted, and it would lead to frantic activity trying to find out what the issue was and how to resolve it. The latest update to the platform will reduce the chances of someone having their account deleted without warning.

Users will be able to see which posts were removed for being problematic, and it also allows them an opportunity to appeal any decisions about a particular post. Since Instagram disables accounts based on the number of violations they have, it may be worthwhile to appeal any violation where it seems like the Instagram reviewer was stretching the definition.

However, don’t think that this new policy means Instagram is going to be more lenient to violators on the platform. According to the company, the new warning system also comes with an additional way to decide when an account is to be deleted.

In a post announcing the change, Instagram wrote, “Under our existing policy, we disable accounts that have a certain percentage of violating content. We are now rolling out a new policy where, in addition to removing accounts with a certain percentage of violating content, we will also remove accounts with a certain number of violations within a window of time. Similarly to how policies are enforced on Facebook, this change will allow us to enforce our policies more consistently and hold people accountable for what they post on Instagram.” 

Making the process more consistent is excellent news for marketers who use the platform. Instagram and other social media networks frequently find themselves making reactionary decisions on what content to disallow and which profiles to ban. This method was extremely annoying to marketers who could discover one day that the tactics they were using, or the products they were promoting, were no longer allowed.

This new system will mean that users will always get a warning about policy changes that affect the content they make. Additionally, the notification system lets them appeal a decision or change their content before something terrible happens to their account.  The appeal process will be limited at the moment but will grow with time. Instagram says, "To start, appeals will be available for content deleted for violations of our nudity and pornography, bullying and harassment, hate speech, drug sales, and counter-terrorism policies, but we'll be expanding appeals in the coming months."

For now, the areas where appeals are allowed are the most common reasons why a traditional Instagram channel could find itself trouble. So the appeal process will be useful at the start.

For more recent news about changes to social media marketing, read this article on Facebook's latest plan to make ad placement and targeting options more transparent to people seeing the ads.