Instagram will collect and measure demographic information, like race and ethnicity, to understand the experience of various communities on the platform.
Instagram will first start off with this strategem with a random set of users based out of US, who can share the required demographic information and participate in the optional survey.
How it Works
Over the next few months, people on Instagram in US may see a prompt asking them for their race or ethnicity. This leads to a survey hosted by YouGov, an international research group that helps companies run surveys. Individual, de-identified responses are collected by YouGov, encrypted, and split into parts to be stored across partner research institutions.
Instagram will have access to aggregated information, and the platform states that it can’t connect people or their Instagram accounts to their individual responses.
The platform is working with a number of research organisations such as Texas Southern University, University of Central Florida, Northeastern University, and Oasis Labs.
These institutions will receive the split, de-identified responses from YouGov, and then share an aggregated analysis with Instagram. The institutions will also not be able to connect responses to individuals or their Instagram accounts, states Instagram.
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How Instagram Will Use This Information
- This information will allow Instagram to better understand the experiences different communities have on the platform, how their technology may impact different groups, and if there are changes to make to promote fairness. For example, the analysis conducted with this information might help better understand experiences different communities may have when it comes to how we rank content
- Participating in the survey is not required. It is 100% optional
- Instagram says it will not tie the survey response back to users or any of the specific accounts, the survey response is encrypted Instagram and all Meta platforms, YouGov, Oasis, and the academic institutions do not have the ability to link the response back to the Instagram account
- This will not limit the experiences that users have on Instagram, including impacting the reach or how people engage with the content in any way
- With the method, individual survey responses cannot and will not be used in our ads system, states Instagram
- This information will not be stored with partner institutions in perpetuity. Responses will be deleted by YouGov after 30 days and by Texas Southern University, University of Central Florida, Northeastern University, and Oasis Labs on request