Since Instagram Stories was introduced less than a year ago, it’s become massively popular. Every day, approximately 250 Instagram users post photos and videos to Stories, rapidly outpacing Snapchat’s popularity. Instagram is keeping the ball rolling by regularly introducing new features. The most recent update is the option to send video and photo replies to your friends’ stories.
Before July, users had the option to send text responses to stories. Now, you’ll see a new camera icon in the lower left corner while watching a story on Instagram. Click on that, and you’ll be able to record a photo, video, or Boomerang. This means that an expressive selfie could take the place of a simple emoji. You can use all of Instagram’s story tools, including filters and stickers, while creating your response. You’ll also see a sticker screenshot of the original story, which you can resize and reposition.
If a friend replies to one of your stories, you’ll see it in your inbox, exactly as you already do for text responses. Like stories themselves, replies will disappear after 24 hours, and you’ll get an alert if a friend takes a screenshot of your reply.
Because photo/video replies disappear, brands on Instagram may not want to devote too much time to them. However, they’ll certainly be a fun and personal way to interact directly with individual users. As Instagram’s press release states, the update “is just one of the ways we’re working to make Direct the best place to have fun, visual conversations with friends on Instagram.”
For general Instagram users, the update provides encouragement to share new kinds of content with friends. It should be an intuitive feature for a user-base that’s already fluent in the art of selfies and filtered pictures. All in all, Instagram’s stream of updates shows no signs of slowing and is likely to keep its Stories feature very popular.
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