Instagram has announced a slew of improved changes to its service. About seven major improvements have been implemented and notable among these are users’ ability to send direct messages (DM) from inside content feed, dispatch 30-second song previews, as well as to conduct polls in group chats.
With its aim to become a super-app in record time, users are also able to send messages to friends and other users “silently” by using the @silent feature, and even see friends that are online just as is applicable in Facebook Messenger.
Users who receive silent messages will not get notifications that may distract their attention from what they are doing at hand, and people who send messages from inside their feed will not have to leave the feed to another specialized message center. To this end, targeted ads will become less obstructive to Instagram users while using social media.
Not all users will have the new improvements automatically implemented on their accounts. Only those who opted-in to the upgraded Instagram messaging version introduced in 2020 made integration between Instagram and Messenger workable. In December 2021, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said the social medium is upping its offerings in the video, e-commerce, messaging, and content creator relationships.
“How people connect with their close friends has changed a lot over the past five years or so and it’s moved primarily to messaging, away from Feed and Stories,” Mosseri said. “The number one reason that people say they use Instagram in research is to be entertained. Messaging is one of the primary ways that people – actually, it is the primary way people connect online at this point. Instagram needs to embrace the fact that messaging is that primary form of communication.”
This goes to show that Instagram’s management is taking the medium beyond a photo-sharing app to something more substantial in social messaging, videoing, and business growth. Integrations with Apple and Amazon’s music streaming services will make the new 30-second song previews possible on Instagram, and Spotify will soon join too.
A spokesperson for Instagram, Christine Pai, said the new features have rolled out globally already, but not in Europe where regional laws prevent implementation of the enhancements. The worldwide improvements are also Instagram’s response to TikTok which controls a major segment of the social media market with short, funny videos, and this is a fact that Mosseri admitted.
“Let’s be honest, there’s some really serious competition right now,” Mosseri said. “TikTok is huge, YouTube is even bigger and there are lots of other upstarts as well.”