An upcoming text-based Instagram feature that nobody asked for appears to be getting a wider rollout. The feature reportedly allows users to post disappearing messages to followers, who can then reply.
Fresh off the heels of TikTok unveiling “Now,” which is shamelessly modelled after the juggernaut BeReal, it would appear that the cannibalism of social media platforms continues as Instagram begins a wider rollout of a new feature. In a report from XDA Developers, the social media app is continuing to play around with a text-based feature that TechCrunch first reported on this past June. The feature, called “Notes,” will allow users to leave notes for their followers in the app’s messaging tab according to screenshots posted by Ahmed Ghanem on Twitter in June.
“We’re always working on ways to help you better connect on Instagram, a Meta spokesperson told Gizmodo via email. “We’re testing a new feature called Notes so people can quickly share thoughts with their friends, with a small group of people to start.”
Followers will not be notified when you leave a note, but the note will be visible to them for 24 hours before it disappears. Users that post notes can choose if they want to share their message with all of their followers or just those on their “Close friends” list, and followers can reply to a note via direct message by tapping on it.
All in all, this new feature is a more text-forward version of Instagram Stories. That begs the question of why this is necessary in the first place since, on first glance, it shares all of the features that Stories has, minus the camera integration, filters, stickers, and music.
Instagram has been in a transient state over the past few months, with a whole host of features either rolling out, being tested, or scaling back. Notably, Instagram unveiled its BeReal copycat called “Dual,” which allows users to post front and back camera photos at once on Stories while removing the shopping tab from the home feed.
Updated September 28 2:41 pm EST: This article was updated to include comment from Meta.