Instagram has added three messaging improvements to its app that aim to make conversations easier to manage and more colorful.
The updates include the ability to quickly share a post, share a short clip of a song, and change the chat background to go from black and white.
Meta’s photo-sharing platform has been hard at work, recently enabling Instagram on the web, the return of the chronological feed, and a greater focus on helping users message each other in an easier way.
These three features build on that last promise, especially when it comes to sharing posts without leaving your feed.
What are you getting?
With Quick Send, you can press and hold the share button on a post in your feed and quickly send it to a friend or family member without going anywhere else in the app.
You can also share 30-second clips of music tracks from Apple Music, with Amazon Music and Spotify integration coming soon.
Finally, there’s the new ability to change the background of the person you’re chatting with, meaning you can finally get rid of the black or white background. Instagram is not breaking new ground here. WhatsApp chat has a similar function.
But while some may think these are minor updates, they are potentially significant updates for those who use Instagram more than Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. With the ability to personalize your chat background and share content more easily from the main feed, it looks like Instagram isn’t done refining the way you can message others through its app , and we may see further improvements in this area later this year.
Analysis: Why are these updates important?
Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri promised towards the end of 2021 that there would be a greater focus on messaging, and now the platform is delivering on that promise.
Messages to friends and family on Instagram has become increasingly common in recent years, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sharing posts or just staying in touch with those who only use Instagram has become a new norm for some users.
According to Instagram, 44% of users use the app to buy products, so it’s safe to assume that the majority want to use messaging services to see where their purchases are and if they want to receive special offers through messaging Instagram.
As small as these new messaging features may sound, we get the impression that this is an area of interest for Mosseri and the Instagram team. Granted, Meta also has Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp in the same category, but Instagram is on its own isolated island where you can’t get the same content through those apps and Facebook.
Instagram has always stood out from the crowd, developing bespoke services like Instagram Stories, Reels and Shopping. Meta usually holds an annual conference called the Facebook F8 where there are updates on its products and platforms. Maybe we’ll see a similar event this year, but with a name change (we’d suggest “Meta8”). So there’s a good chance we’ll be hearing more about news on Instagram in the near future.