I'm not entirely sure what to make of this yet, but according to a new discovery by reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong, Instagram is working on a new 'DM Me' sticker for Instagram Stories, which would prompt direct message engagement from your Stories content by tapping on the sticker image.
I mean, it makes sense from a usage standpoint. Like all messaging options, usage of Instagram Direct has been on the rise over the last few years, and that's spiked even further during COVID-19, with Facebook reporting a 50% increase in total messaging volume across its apps in March.
In this respect, there's clear logic to Instagram looking to facilitate more messaging use. But maybe it seems too pushy? Maybe?
It seems like maybe a direct prompt to call for messages from Stories viewers could also be problematic, in regards to harassment and abuse. People might want to get private messages as a result of their Stories, but opening the door in this way could lead to more unsolicited attachments and such, which has become a problematic element, particularly for younger users.
Of course, people would be able to restrict such through their privacy settings, but still. It seems a little off, somehow.
Then again, it's not a lot different to the 'Join Chat' sticker that Instagram added for Stories last July, though the key variation here is that that sticker is about adding people into a group chat, as opposed to initiating one-on-one discussion.
Introducing the new chat sticker in Stories. Now, there's an easy way to start conversations with a group of friends right from your story. pic.twitter.com/A1An7d9TjJ— Instagram (@instagram) July 2, 2019
Is prompting private DMs that much different? Is it that useful?
From a brand perspective, if it's made available to business profiles, it could be another prompt to get potential customers to make that first contact. You could showcase your product in a video and include the sticker with a CTA to 'Get more info' or similar. That could help drive more direct discussion, and would be another consideration to keep in mind.
There's no word from Instagram as yet as to a possible launch, but it may be looking to push the DM sticker as an engagement measure for users during COVID-19. Wong's discoveries tend to take around six weeks before official announcement, but the pandemic has shifted development timelines somewhat.
We'll keep you updated as we get more info.