Facebook’s focus on messaging has trickled down to Instagram, which announced several enhancements to the Instagram Direct messaging features it introduced in December 2013.
The updates were rolled out Tuesday as part of version 7.5 of Instagram for iOS and Android, and they include:
- Threaded messages.
- The ability to name group messages and add other users.
- The ability to add “jumbo” emoji or photos taken with the application’s quick camera feature to messages.
- Sharing photos and videos directly from users’ Instagram feeds, location pages or hashtag pages via the new reshare arrow, located alongside the like and comment icons on photos and videos, or in the top-right-hand corner of location or hashtag pages.
Instagram offered more details on the new features in a blog post:
Threaded messages make it easier to go back-and-forth with the people you talk to the most. Instead of creating a new conversation every time you send a photo or video, your threads are based on the people in them—and your moments flow along naturally. We’ve also added the ability to name your groups, a quick camera feature to respond with a selfie on the fly and larger-than-life emoji for when there are just no words.
Today’s updates also bring a brand new way to start conversations around what you see on Instagram. When you find something inspiring or funny, your first instinct is often to share it with friends who you know will appreciate it. Today, people do this by @-mentioning friends in comments, so much so that nearly 40 percent of comments include an @-mention. This update has made it easier to share content that you love.
Now, you’ll find an arrow next to the like and comment icons under every post. Tap it to send that post to a friend or group as a message using Instagram Direct. It will appear as part of your conversation, and you can tap the photo or video to see and like the original post. You can also send hashtag pages and location pages by tapping the arrow icon in the top right-hand corner.
Privacy works the same way as it always has on Instagram. Photos and videos sent using Direct are only visible to people who could already see them. If the owner of a photo or video has their account set to private, only people who follow their account will be able to see it if it’s sent as a message in Direct. And, as always, you own your photos and videos—today’s updates do not change that.