Instagram is adding its popular poll stickers to its private messaging options, giving users another way to interact within smaller groups.
Starting today, you can send a poll privately in Direct. Update your app to choose who you want to poll – whether it’s everyone in a big group thread or just your very best friend. Update your app now to try it! pic.twitter.com/Lfr6pwPDzI— Instagram (@instagram) August 14, 2018
As outlined in the above GIF, the process is fairly straight-forward – if you want to add a poll to your DM thread, you simply choose your audience and add a poll sticker, similar to how you would within Instagram Stories.
It’s the latest in Instagram’s efforts to enhance direct messaging – back in May, Instagram also added group video calling in Direct, working to facilitate more intimate connection within the app.
That moves in line with the broader trends away from public sharing. As various reports have shown, an increasing amount of social media conversation is now switching to more private forums, with a growing number of users seemingly becoming more wary of distributing everything for all to see.
The shift away from broadcasting your personal life and insights may be influenced by the growing number of scandals we’ve seen due to erroneous or ill-thought-out social posts. For example, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn was recently fired by Disney, and cut from the third film in the franchise, because of offensive opinions he’d shared via tweet several years ago.
Such incidents have become a regular occurrence, and when you combine that with privacy concerns and how social platforms have reportedly been used by political groups to influence voter opinions, it makes sense that users would look to more intimate, enclosed groups, where they can maintain increased control over both the inputs and outputs.
On Instagram, Direct use has also continued to expand - around half of all Instagram users now also use the platform’s messaging option, while previous reports have shown that 85% of the messages shared on the platform are distributed to the same three friends, underlining the desire for more private sharing.
Furthering this, Instagram has also been working on a ‘Lists’ feature which would enable users to share posts and Stories with selected groups of friends only, though it hasn’t been rolled out as yet.
The addition of polls in DMs is a minor option, but it’s another indicator that Instagram is moving to provide more enclosed sharing options. From a brand perspective, that could give you the capacity to create exclusive Instagram groups of top supporters, and more ways to share within them, aligning with these same usage trends. The focus here is not on direct business-to-consumer connection, but there are some interesting ways the options can be used for such.