Meta has launched a variety of new engagement features on Instagram ahead of the holiday season. These include Notes, Group Profiles, Collaborative Collections, Candid Stories, and a Pass it On Prompt in Story Stickers. Lets take a look at what each of these is for.
Notes is a conversation-prompting feature that can be seen displayed above the DMs section. Meta describes Notes as “short posts of up to 60 characters” that you can share with your Followers or Close Friends in the app.
The format of Notes is similar to Stories, as they disappear after 24 hours. Moreover, people can reply to your Notes and the replies will land in your DMs. Meta decided to roll out this feature after learning that more users on Instagram have started to interact within Direct Messages instead of posts in the main feed, and enjoy “lightweight and easy” ways to make conversations. “Notes give people a casual and spontaneous way to express themselves and connect with each other,” says Meta.
Next is the new Group Profile feature that people can use to create shared profiles exclusively with selected people. The profiles can only be viewed by group members and won’t be shared with followers. The Collaborative Collections feature is similar to the post saving tool, except that it will be part of group chats only, where members can create their private collections of posts.
As for the Candid Stories update, it is one that Instagram had been testing for quite some time. Candid Stories function like the engagement app BeReal, by prompting users to capture and share what they are up to in-the-moment. Once you share your Candid video or image, Instagram will prompt your followers with a daily notification to capture their own Candid in response to yours.
The Candid Stories option is available within the Stories Camera. Meta has announced that it is testing the feature for Facebook as well.
Another Stories update includes a new ‘Pass it on’ prompt within the ‘Add Yours’ sticker tool, which is a way of inviting more people to participate with the sticker.
At this point, Instagram has become less of a photo or video sharing app and has rather morphed into a combination of all sorts of social media trends and features. But then again, the company knows what it is doing and its experiments seem to be working in its favour, whether or not users are happy with the way the app has transformed.