If you logged on to Instagram recently and were really confused as to why your inbox page looks so different, it’s because of Instagram’s latest update. On Tuesday, Instagram launched a note-sharing feature which allows users to share texts and emojis with others in the same way you would typically share a photo to your story.
Your direct message (DM) inbox page now has a banner on the top that showcases profiles and the message the users have shared. To add your very own message, all you have to do is click your photo, type the text and send.
The Note feature uses the same model as story sharing, keeping the 60 character messages up on your profile for only 24 hours.
Users also have the option to easily react on other’s Notes by clicking on the note and sending an emoji or a message back. The messages will appear in the recipient’s DMs.
The purpose of this feature is to easily spur conversations between users and “give people a casual and spontaneous way to express themselves and connect with each other,” according to Instagram.
It’s another step towards building out Instagram as a messaging app beyond just sharing images.
Instagram is also testing a candid stories feature–Instagram’s take on BeReal. Through this feature, users will be able to share what they are doing at the moment with other users who are also participating in candid stories. Like BeReal, this feature will have daily notification reminders.
Lastly, the app is testing group sharing features such as group profiles, similar to Facebook Groups, and collaborative collections in which users can make posts collections that are shared with friends.