Instagram announced an important game-changing update. It brings several new features with it, including the biggest ever leap from its photo-sharing roots.
This update was announced by Mark Zuckerberg on Instagram and is detailed on Mark’s latest Instagram Blog. It includes these new features to improve and increase sharing.
- A new Twitter-like ‘Notes’ feature based on short text-based posts.
- ‘Add Yours’ nominations — a way to invite friends to take part in Add Yours stories.
- Candid Stories — essentially a clone of the popular BeReal app.
- Group Profiles — allowing invited friends to operate their own walled-off feed visible only to the group
- Collaborative Collections — The ability to save posts into shared collections viewable to selected users.
The most important update is probably the Notes feature, which brings textual content to the platform for the first-time. This marks a radical departure from Instagram’s recent obsession with video and is timed perfectly to coincide with mass departures from Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk’s takeover. The feature is also reminiscent of the ‘status’ setting found on messaging apps such as Skype or WhatsApp.
Users can send up to 60 characters of content via Notes to selected followers. Posts stay at the top of recipients’s inboxes for 24 hours and replies come through as direct messages (DMs). It’s a quicker way to get your message across without people having to swipe through your stories.
Add Yours nominations
Add Yours stickers allow users to embellish Reels posts with a customizable prompt such as “Show what you had for breakfast”, responses are then aggregated into a page all participants can see. The new ‘pass it on’ button lets users forward Add Yours stickers to any breakfast-obsessed friends they think might want to participate.
Candid Stories first appeared in August. Each day, participants are required to snap a photo in one shot. This is only shared with others who also took a Candid on that particular day. The idea is to share an unfiltered snapshot of real life as an antidote to Instagram’s often highly-curated and polished posts. You can turn off the daily notification. Facebook Stories also tests the BeReal Clone.
Profils for Groups
Group Profiles are rather like Instagram’s version of WhatsApp group chats, but for Instagram posts rather than messages, memes and endless streams of GIFs. Only group members can see the Group Profile and posts are entirely separate from participants’ personal profiles.
Collaborative collection are similar to saved regular posts. They can be viewed by all members of the group and added to. For example, you could share posts that contain potential destinations for travel with friends.
These new features are being tested, and the Notes feature is also in the process of rolling out. Cultivating stronger connections between friends in a way that’s inextricably tied to Instagram is also a great way for the platform to retain users who might otherwise jump ship to rivals such as TikTok.
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