You can now ask questions in Instagram Stories.
A new feature on the platform lets Stories creators post stickers asking their viewers for commentary on their work. When viewers reply to creators’ Story questions, only the creators see the responses. However, creators can choose to share answers within their Stories, though doing so won’t reveal the replies’ authors.
According to The Verge, Instagram calls the question stickers “a way to start conversations during moments when you don’t necessarily have a photo or video to share.” The aim, then, is to encourage users to post to Instagram Stories more frequently.
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Question stickers can be found among regular stickers on the social app. Users have to tap the sticker and type their question before including it in their post. They don’t strictly have to be questions—an example on Instagram shows a creator prompting their users to ask questions themselves with the new tool.
Asking creators questions directly in their Instagram Stories provides a solution for conversations between creators and followers that previously had to take place outside of the social platform. A year ago, Mashable wrote about the sudden popularity of an anonymous social messaging platform, Sarahah, which people were linking to in their Instagram Stories so as to get anonymous feedback on their posts. Instagram creators have also turned to Reddit AMAs to engage with their users, like this one by creator Alex Tooby.
Instagram has included features that let creators directly engage their followers through the app before. Back in December, for example, the company added a direct messaging feature that allowed creators to privately share live streams with select followers.