Image and video sharing platform Instagram which is owned by Facebook, has added new features to enable users to directly exchange messages in private group conversations. The addition has been made to keep Instagram up with messaging service Snapchat, which has already hit 100 million users and growing fast.
Instagram has over 500 million users and with these new features, it hopes to boost user engagement on its platform.
“Young mobile users are increasingly interested in messaging friends and having conversations online, rather than merely viewing content. As much as 40 % of all comments on Instagram posts mention other accounts”, stated the company, suggesting that many users like to flag content to users they know and start conversations about it.
Instead of creating a new chat every time you send a photo or video to someone, the feature will allow you to keep things moving with message threads where you can see previous lines in the conversation.
Further, the platform has also introduced a selfie-cam shortcut inside Direct that now appears on the bottom left-hand side of the screen. Tapping it lets you take a quick shot of yourself. However, you can’t add any filters to the shots at the moment. On the bottom right-hand side of the screen, a heart button lets you pick and send the big emoji.
The move comes a week after Instagram upgraded its service to allow new layout options in addition to its signature square for pictures and videos, which was viewed as a move to compete better with Snapchat, reports Reuters.
Snapchat, is popular owing to its unique feature that is messages on its platform disappear after a few seconds. Also, the platform offers a variety of picture and video formats. A few months back, Snapchat upgraded its service allowing users to exchange text messages in response to photos and videos.
Of late, we have been observing that in the pursuit of innovation, social media platforms are aggressively indulging into revamping and adding new features. For example, just a few days back, Facebook launched its virtual assistant ‘M’ for its Messenger to help users perform tasks like shopping. Similarly, LinkedIn Corp has also made an announcement of redesigning its inbox with features mimicking chat services.