Instagram Experiments with Chat Widgets to Prompt More Engagement

testing out another way to fuel more in DMs, this time via chat widgets, which would enable you to add additional tools and indicators into your chat flow.

Instagram chat widget

As you can see in this example, posted by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, Instagram's seemingly developing new “Chat Widgets”, with a range of add-ons for your discussion, which could help to add more context, drive more engagement, etc.

The current chat widgets listed (in development, not in public testing as yet) are:

  • Countdown widget – Create a countdown in the chat
  • Timezone widget – Display the local time of each chat participant
  • Pinned content widget – Quickly access pinned content

You can see how each of these could play a part in driving more engagement, by adding another element up front within the chat, so that you can more easily prompt one another over these informational tools.

It could also be of benefit for brand engagement. If the feature is made available to brands, you could, for example, prompt customers with an offer, with a timer attached to accept. Having local time displayed would also be of benefit, to ensure that you're responding at a reasonable hour.

Private sharing, primarily in DMs, has become a much bigger element of the broader IG experience, with Instagram chief Adam Mosseri repeatedly noting that:

“Friends now post a lot more to stories, and send a lot more DMs, than they post to Feed.”

That's indicative of the broader shift in social media engagement towards more enclosed sharing, as opposed to posting publicly, and Instagram's been working to feed into this with new private sharing elements, including its increasingly popular inbox Notes element.

As such, chat widgets makes sense, and would be another element to enhance this focus.

There's no word from Instagram as to a possible release of this element, nor a full list of widgets that would be available, but we'll keep you updated on any progress.

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