Every New Feature Just Added To Instagram Messaging

Over the past few months, Instagram has made several changes to its feed and overall app experience. While some of these changes were of a cosmetic nature, there have been quite a few functional additions too. Most notable among these includes the return of the chronological timeline, the rollout of parental control features, and a "take a break" reminder. More recently, Instagram also came up with an activity and security checkup feature to address privacy-related concerns related to the popular photo and video sharing platform.

However, one Instagram feature that has remained practically unchanged for as long as one can remember is Instagram Messaging — until now, that is.

On March 31, Instagram shared a blog post detailing seven new features that have begun rolling out to users across the globe. Apart from improving the messaging experience, some of the new Instagram Messaging features include the ability to share music previews, send a message silently to a recipient, and even check who among your contacts is online and available for a quick chat.

New messaging features on Instagram

With previous versions of Instagram, if you needed to send a message to someone, it meant interrupting the browsing experience and going into the message inbox menu. That has changed with the updated app, which lets you reply to messages while scrolling through your Instagram feed. Likewise, if you come across something interesting that you wish to share with friends, the app now allows you to reshare the content quickly by simply tapping and holding the share button.

For those always hooked to Instagram, the app now also lets you see who's online at any given point in time so you can quickly drop them a message. Another interesting feature expected to debut soon on Instagram is the ability to send a 30-second preview of a song to your friends. The company says it is working with popular music streaming apps like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music to get this feature up and running.

If you want to send a quick message to a friend but do not wish to disturb them with annoying notification chimes, Instagram now lets you do so without alerting them; all you need to do is type @silent in the message text, and the app will take care of the rest. Another interesting feature is the ability to conduct polls with your close friends, something that is a straight lift from an already existing feature that has been available to Facebook Messenger users for a while now.

Apart from these functional feature additions, Instagram now also gives you the option to change the look and feel of the app. For users who are bored with the platform's regular design, you can switch to a different, less-boring lo-fi theme.

Why am I not seeing these features yet?

The blog post announcing these additions notes that not all of these features have started rolling out to end-users. Depending on which part of the globe you live in, these new tools may not be available. In fact, Instagram has already confirmed that many of these features will be restricted to a small group of countries — initially, at least — although we still don't know which markets will get support.

Nevertheless, the new features are only a small reminder of how far the platform's messaging support has evolved since its early days. For those unaware, the messaging feature on Instagram was first introduced in 2013 as Instagram Direct barely a year after Facebook acquired the company. The feature started as a simple direct message (DM) tool that let users send quick messages and photos to each other without having to leave the platform. A decade later, the gradual influx of new features to Instagram Messaging has effectively made it a competent standalone messaging app.