Instagram Launches New DM Updates, Including Message Editing and Pinned Chats

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Instagram has announced some new DM features as it works to enhance the usage of messaging as the key connective element in the app.

Because over time, more and more personal engagement is migrating to private chats, as users stop posting to the main feed.

First off, Instagram’s added message editing, which will enable you to update your DM for up to 15 minutes after sending.

Instagram DM update

Which is the exact same feature that WhatsApp added last year, and considering Meta’s broader plan to eventually merge all of its messaging tools into a single platform, it makes sense for it to implement feature parity across its apps.

IG users will now also be able to pin up to three chats to the top of their DM inbox, so they can more easily access their most important discussions.

Instagram DM update

Instagram’s also adding the capacity to switch on read receipts for either all DM chats or specific threads, while it’s also adding new chat themes to customize your engagement.

Instagram DM update

Finally, Instagram’s also adding a new option to save your favorite stickers in the app, which will keep them at the top of the sticker tray, making it easier to include them in your DMs.

Instagram DM update

The changes align with evolving usage behaviors, both on IG and across social platforms more broadly, with more and more users now sharing content in more enclosed messaging groups, as opposed to posting to the main feed.

Back in 2022, in response to user concerns that they were no longer seeing updates from the profiles that they follow in the app, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri noted that:

Friends post a lot more to stories and send a lot more DMs than they post to Feed.”

Mosseri’s answer to the problem, as a result of more AI-based recommendations appearing in-stream, was that users aren’t posting to the main feed anymore either way, which meant that this was less of a concern in terms of overall usage.

That trend has been further highlighted, and/or exacerbated by Meta, ever since.

In a recent overview of its platform performance, Meta noted that 40% of the content that people see on Instagram now comes via AI recommendations, which has led to a 6% increase in time spent in the app over the past year.

So while people may be seeing fewer posts from profiles that they’ve chosen to follow in the main feed, most people are sharing in DMs anyway.

Mosseri has underlined this once again in today’s announcement, with one slight amendment:

“When you think of Instagram, you probably think of a feed of square photos. But how Instagram works has changed a lot over the years, and if you look at what people share, and how people express their creativity, the primary way they do so is actually DMs on Instagram. More photos and videos are shared in DMs than are to Stories or to feed on any given day.”

So Stories is now also becoming a secondary consideration, with DMs now the primary channel for engagement between users, as the main feed becomes more of a TikTok-like stream of recommended entertainment.

Which is really the key trend of note. Following TikTok’s lead, Instagram is leaning further into algorithm-fueled engagement, which reduces the emphasis on following, and puts more reliance on the system showing you more of what you’re likely to be interested in.

As a result, the profiles that you follow are no longer a critical driver of your in-app experience, but in order to maintain that personal connection, Instagram’s now looking to enhance its DMs to facilitate direct linkage.

Which is a foundational shift. Social platforms, and Meta’s apps in particular, have always relied on users to self-select their experience, by following profiles in the app. But now, social apps are seeing bigger engagement gains by using algorithmic sorting, and showing you more things from profiles similar to those that you engage with.

In essence, messages are now the “social” element, with the main feed becoming an entertainment source.

That’s a whole different perspective, and it’s worth considering this within your social media marketing plan.



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