Instagram users, you may have noticed something new at the top of your inbox.
On Dec. 13, the social media company announced the rollout of Instagram "Notes", a feature they described as "a new way to share your thoughts and see what your friends are up to.”
The sharing feature is similar to old-school messaging services like AIM and MSN Messenger, giving users the option to post about their current mood, status or anything else on their mind in 60 characters or less.
If you've seen notes popping up and have questions about how to post your own (or turn them off completely), then keep reading for all the details.
Here's everything you need to know about Instagram Notes, including how to get the feature, why you might not be able to find the notes on your app and more.
What are Instagram Notes?
Instagram Notes are short posts or messages that appear at the top of other people's inbox.
"When you post a note, you can select followers who follow you back or your Close Friends list as the audience," Christine Pai, a spokesperson for Meta (Instagram's parent company) tells TODAY.com in an email.
Think of it as a thought bubble that appears above your photo or icon in other people's inbox. You'll be able to see your own note there, along with those posted by friends or followers.
Instagram Notes can include text and/or emojis and must be 60 characters or less.
Instagram Notes are totally customizable, but examples include "Vacation starts today let the good times roll 🌴" or "Anyone else watching the big game?"
The note will remain at the top of your friends or followers' inbox for 24 hours before disappearing. You can also update, edit or delete your note at any time.
Friends or followers have the option to respond to your note (as you do theirs) and replies will appear as DMs in your messages inbox.
How to get Instagram Notes
Wondering where to find the new sharing feature?
Pai tells TODAY.com that the new feature is available to everyone with Instagram with the exception of users based in the European Union, United Kingdom and Japan due to regulatory constraints. “We plan to roll out in those countries early 2023,” Pai says.
Why can’t I see Instagram Notes?
If you don’t see any notes and aren’t in one of the specific regions where the messaging tool has yet to be launched, Pai recommends updating the app or logging out, then back in again.
“Usually ‘refreshing’ the app works,” she says.
If you aren’t running the latest version of Instagram, it may be time to update the app on your iPhone or Android.
How to use Instagram Notes
Follow these steps to create a note or see notes left by followers:
- Open your DM inbox on Instagram.
- Your profile photo or icon should appear at the top left along with other followers or friends who've posted a note.
- Click on "+" to create your own message or status.
- Write a note that's 60 characters or less. The note will delete after 24 hours.
- Click on notes shared by friends or followers and type out a response in the message field. Your response will show up in their inbox.
How to turn off Instagram Notes
If you want to keep things the way things were, then you may be tempted to turn off the feature.
For the time being, you're out of luck. According to Pai, Instagram Notes cannot be turned off completely. However, much like Instagram stories, users have the ability to mute specific individuals if they don't want to see what they're posting.