The photo-sharing platform has come under fire since the death of British teenager Molly Russell, who killed herself two years ago after watching graphic content on the popular site.
Speaking to BBC News, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri explained: "It will take time to fully implement ... but it's not going to be the last step we take."
The issue came into sharp focus in the UK and elsewhere after Molly's father claimed the site was partially responsible for his daughter's death.
Following the tragic incident, Instagram announced plans to review its policies.
A spokesperson for the company said it had "started a full review of [its] policies, enforcement and technologies around suicide and self-injury content".
The spokesperson added: "While we conduct this review, over the past week we have had a team of engineers working round the clock to make changes to make it harder for people to search for and find self-harm content.
"We have further restricted the ability for anyone to find content by searching for hashtags and in the Explore pages, and we are stopping the recommendation of accounts that post self-harm content."