A Note on How Instagram’s Notes Feature Actually Works

Instagram Notes

Instagram’s new Notes feature, announced back in September, has landed in Aus. It’ll now automatically appear in the Instagram Direct Message section of the app if you have the latest version. The feature lets you share a message under 60 characters for 24 hours. The status is only visible to your followers.

But be warned: Instagram users who don’t yet know how the feature works may think you’re personally DMing them, given the message you post appears in the DM section.

TikToker Chloe Ferrari said she’d posted a status, reading “what the f*** is this”, in reference to seeing the new feature. An Instagram friend of her had then messaged Ferrari, thinking the status was questioning an Instagram Story of hers.

“This poor girl, obviously she’s just seen [my status] in her DMs, and thought it was a direct message,” says Ferrari.

@chloefferrariIG pls stop with the updates you were good as you were 🥲🥲🥲 👉🏼IG chloefferrari♬ original sound – Chloe Ferrari ✨

To write a Note yourself, head into the DM section of your Instagram and tap on the + icon next to your profile photo. There, in ‘Share what’s on your mind…’, you can write your status and then choose whether you’ll share it with all your followers or just Close Friends. Your followers won’t be notified when you post a note.

Essentially, the feature is a text-only, basic version of an Instagram Story, which definitely does make you wonder if it was really needed, when you can already post text-only slides to your story.

Related: Dual Camera, Remix Opps and All the Other New Features on Instagram Reels

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Earlier this year, Instagram tried out a paid subscription feature. Like OnlyFans, it requires fans pay for content from their favourite creators. Next came Dual, which, like BeReal, uses both your front and back camera simultaneously to take a photo — though, with Instagram’s proposed new feature, you can record a video, too. The app was also testing a feature called Remix, which, like TikTok’s Stitch and Duet feature, lets you put your own spin on existing content.

As of yet, Paid Subscriptions, Dual and Remix don’t appear to have launched in Australia.

If you’re sensing a common theme of Instagram copying features from other apps and continuously testing them out, you’d be correct. But to be fair, other apps are doing it too, with TikTok earlier this month announcing a feature called ‘Now’, that copies BeReal’s function.

In a piece for Enchanted Agency, writer Philip Storey says the strategy of social networks copying each other is explained in the book Building the Agile Business Through Digital Transformation, by Neil Perkin and Peter Abraham.

They describe situations like this as ’transformed consumer contexts’, driven by the shift in power from organisations to consumers,” Storey explains.

“Consumer expectations are, without any doubt, higher than ever, meaning that once we experience a service or tool that’s a true game-changer, such as Uber or Amazon Prime or Amazon one-click purchase, we expect the same level of capability from any tool, service or company.”

Storey believes it’s this mentality of ‘If I can get it there, I want it here too’ that’s behind why social networks are cloning each other’s features.

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