December 2, 2022
Instagram is testing out a new feature via which users can send text statuses to their followers or select close friends.

Instagram communication, and indeed social media communication at large, is fascinating to me. The fact that all sorts of individuals cohabit in the same area was always bound to strike up intriguing interactions in some aspects (and entirely revolting in most others; looking at you, 4Chan). However, I think that it’s given us a small glimpse into celebrity culture as well, and exactly what a taste of fame feels like. Naturally, not everyone’s famous, statistically, even in our current day and age of influencers, I’m willing to bet that the population of such individuals is very, very low. However, more people are sharing their experiences and encountering their personal 15 minutes of fame, and I can’t help but think that social media helps establish a microcosm of just how addicting it is to be popular. We’re individuals who get excited over comments and likes that range in the fifties; imagine getting thousands over thousands. Imagine your every story receiving hundreds of personal messages. Even if a user never goes through them, just the amount of sheer, unbridled affirmation has to imbibe in such individuals a sense of power.

Instagram feeds upon this rush of euphoria as well, adding reactions to messages and Stories, allowing users to directly respond to the latter, and providing tokens of validation wherever they may fit. This isn’t me huffily exclaiming that kids can’t get anything done without a pat on the back nowadays; it’s just me attempting to identify whether or not a company’s primary intention with its features is to provide a better user experience or simply prey upon their attachment to said features for profit. Honestly, looking at Meta’s track record, I’m sorely inclined to believe the latter.

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But, yes, enough with the rambling and on towards the feature. Instagram is currently testing the addition of a new status, which will be sent to either all followers or close friends (whichever the individual prefers). These can be replied to just as if they were typical Stories or messages. Currently, the feature has experienced a wider rollout but has still to touch many specific regions such as Asia and whatnot. We can probably expect the feature to be effectively implemented within the next few months. Until then, manually PM’ing one’s entire follower list will have to do.

H/T: XDA.

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