Chat is becoming increasingly visual, but Instagram wants to make sure the response is just as visual. On Tuesday, November 28, Instagram launched a handful of new Instagram Direct features, including the ability to re-edit a friends photo and send it back as a reply.
With the new remix option, Inside Direct, when a friend sends a photo, you now have the option to make your own changes and send it back as a response. When a friend sends a photo as a direct message, tapping the camera icon will now allow users to reply using that same photo as a sticker.
The update means when a friend sends over a snapshot, you can take your own snapshot and add the photo as a sticker — effectively adding your friend into the shot even when you’re not actually in the same room. Along with adding their photo to yours, the new remix feature allows you to draw on their photo or add stickers or text to the image before sending it back, along with moving and resizing the sticker-photo.
With the cameras becoming a primary feature inside messaging apps from Facebook Messenger to Snapchat, Instagram’s latest update continues that trend toward visual communication by encouraging a visual reply. Remixing photos back and forth is another take on using the camera as a primary chat tool.
Along with the option to remix, Instagram is also giving users the option to have more time to view that snapshot. Users can still choose to send messages that can only be viewed once, or can choose to allow replays. When sending a photo inside Direct, a slider at the bottom allows you to toggle between “one view” and “allow replay.” If you choose the “allow replay” option, the recipient will be able to see that photo or video on an automatic loop.
Instagram Direct has been around since 2013, allowing friends to chat with images on the photo-focused social media platform. An update earlier this year simplified the interface by putting all the messages in one spot while another update allowed those chat photos to buck the traditional square crop.
Both the remix replies and the replay option launch with an update to Instagram version 24 for both iOS and Android.