Instagram's adding another way to share Instagram Stories, adding a new option for users to share Stories via direct messaging on the platform.
As you can see in the above sequence, there's a new direct messaging 'paper plane' icon in the bottom right corner of Stories content - tap on it and you'll be able to select a friend or group to share any story with.
"When someone shares a story with you, you will see it in your Direct inbox. When the original story disappears from the app, it will no longer be available in your message thread."
The option gives users another way to engage with Stories, which have proven to be a popular addition to the Instagram experience. Originally cloned from Snapchat, Instagram Stories now has more than 250 million daily active users, outpacing Snapchat's own 173 million DAU.
The ability to share via messaging on the platform also taps into the growth of Instagram Direct. Back in April, Instagram announced that the number of people using direct messages on the platform had grown from 300 million in November 2016 to 375 million, which means more than half of Instagram's 700 million monthly active users now utilize direct messaging.
Catering to this, Instagram also added a new way to share content via DMs last month, which enables users to include a sticker of the image they're replying to in their message, which they can place wherever they want in the frame.
The increased emphasis on Instagram DMs could also have brand benefits - in May, Instagram also added the ability to include links in DMs, which, given the platform's wider resistance to off-platform linking, is a valuable option. If more people are becoming more attuned to Instagram DMs, that could mean more opportunity to better connect with them, and drive direct traffic back to your sites. Of course, marketing via DM is not always welcome, but it's a consideration nonetheless.
If messaging on Instagram becomes a more habitual behavior, there could be marketing benefits to consider.
In addition, you could consider asking your audience to share your Stories content with others via DM to help broaden your reach to interested users.
The ability to share Stories via message is being rolled out to all users over the coming weeks.