It seems that it's not only Facebook's main app that's putting more focus on private groups - over on Instagram, reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong has uncovered a new 'Join Chat' sticker option which would enable Stories viewers to join a private chat group, direct from a Story.
As you can see here, the 'Join Chat' sticker prompts the user to add a note on what the chat is about, with the lower note saying: 'People who view your story can request to join this group chat'.
Along with Facebook more broadly, Instagram has been putting increased emphasis on messaging, with more than half of the app's users now also using Instagram Direct. Instagram Direct has also proven to be a strong driver of engagement and connection on the platform, with around 85% of the messages shared on Instagram distributed among the same three friends, as opposed to broader groups.
This new option looks to put more emphasis on this, prompting private group discussion and sharing, which aligns with the above-noted trends, while also sparking interest in yet another aspect of the Instagram experience.
For brands, if this is indeed launched, it could provide another way to build stronger community connection, and bring your biggest advocates closer by sharing exclusive content and/or seeking consultation. That could be particularly helpful on Instagram, given the power of influencer marketing on the platform - if you can build stronger connection with your top followers, that could give your brand building efforts a significant boost.
There's no word as yet from Instagram as to whether this feature will be released, but we'll keep you updated as we hear.