On Thursday, Instagram announced a significant update to its messaging capability, with seven new features. The announcement follows the platform’s previously shared plans to make more investments in messaging, as a way for users to connect with their friends and other contacts.
Direct messages (DM) have become a vital tool for businesses on Instagram. Some retailers or independent owners sell their goods this way, while others engage privately with current or potential customers. Many industry members even connect simply as friends, sharing content and opportunities or just enjoying the opportunity to communicate.
This is potentially the most popular change. Instagram will provide the capability for users to reply to a DM without ever leaving their feed, eliminating the necessity to lose their place as they browse to visit their inbox.
The same goes for sharing content with friends—a shortcut tap and hold of the share button sends posts via DM without ever leaving your feed.
From the inbox view, users will be able to see who’s currently online and available to chat, if they wanted to strike up a conversation.
Enabled by integrations with Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Spotify, users will soon be able to share a 30-second preview of the songs they like through their chats. Users can listen through the chat window, without having to leave the platform.
If someone wanted to share content with a friend but either knew they were busy at the time or didn’t want to interrupt them, adding “@silent” in their DM ensures the message is sent without a notification to the receiver.
A new lo-fi chat theme is a cool way to make chats feel more personal, whether one wanted to do that with a friend or create a chill atmosphere for a client—if a cityscape scene and a cat make you feel chill.
And finally, polls are going to be available for group chats, giving an easy way to ask everyone in your group DM their opinion on something.
According to Instagram, these features are now available in select countries, with plans to expand them globally. However, it was not specified on Instagram’s blog the countries in which the features are currently available.
Logo courtesy of Instagram
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine