Instagram introduces new interactive stickers for Stories

Instagram announced a handful of new features to Stories, including new interactive ways to share music, photos, and videos.

The most intriguing new feature is called Reveal and, when applied, blurs the contents of a story post. The only way viewers can see the post is by DMing the person who shared it. Instagram head Adam Mosseri has said that direct messages are an increasingly important part of the platform and that stories and DMs account for most of Instagram’s growth. Requiring a DM to view content is the next evolution of that — and will no doubt be used as an engagement hack by creators hoping to boost their stories’ engagement.

Another feature, Frames, puts a Polaroid overlay on to images that start out gray. When users shake their phone, a photo appears — like what many people do with actual Polaroid pictures. Which is amusing, because you’re actually not supposed to shake Polaroids, and the company itself tells people not to do so as the film develops (“We recommend to tuck the developing photo into a pocket or bag to hide it from bright light”). The Frames feature was first introduced during Coachella in April.

Instagram is also adding a music-based template feature that lets users share songs to their stories using prompts like “favorite song on X album” or “if you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life.” Called Add Yours Music, it builds on the existing stories prompt template for photos.

Instagram has been undergoing changes meant to boost original content from users. The biggest change in that vein came earlier this week, when the company said it would make reposted or aggregated content essentially invisible in recommendations, instead replacing it with the original version of the post. Importantly, though, recommended content from accounts you don’t follow is more of a focus than ever — not exactly comforting news to creators who are upset they aren’t reaching as many followers.

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