Instagram is encouraging people to use Stories to talk to their friends with the introduction of a new question and answer feature. Called the questions sticker, it will be available as part of Instagram version 52 on iOS and Android.
After taking a photo or video, users will select the questions sticker, and then type the question they want their followers to answer — like “what are you doing tonight?” or “what places should I visit on vacation?” Anyone who views the story can send in a response, but the user chooses which responses they want to make public on their stories. To do so, a user simply taps on the answer, which creates a new story with the question and the chosen response. The respondent’s photo and username will not be shown.
The questions sticker is different from Instagram’s polling sticker, where users ask their friends a question, and then they have to chose from preselected answers.
Stories have come a long way since Snapchat pioneered them as a way to show your friends what you’re doing that night with a 10-second video. Now, Instagram’s parent company Facebook is keen on making Stories the default way for users to share everything, not just photos and videos. Instagram’s announcement today emphasized that the questions sticker is about “starting conversations” with your friends — not just showing off what you’re up to. Today’s announcement also coincides with the announcement that Instagram will be rolling out Shopping on Instagram — its product tags for advertisers — in Stories later this year.
Launched in August 2016, Instagram Stories now counts 400 million daily active users.