Instagram dropped a new feature for Aussie users to discover in the last 24 hours or so. It’s called Instagram Notes — it lives at the top of our DMs inbox and allows people to fire off a short message to followers. People are, naturally, using it to fire off statuses like they’re back on the family computer for their allocated hour like it’s 2005 all over again.
The feature popped up on my Insta on Wednesday night and I was confronted with a heap of tiny little notes either reading “what the fuck is this?” or decorated with emoticons, ASCII art and achingly-emo lyrics.
Without a shred of hesitation, I scratched the MSN logo-sized itch by booting up a text generator tool and crafting the best teen angst note I could think of.
The platform has been testing the new notes feature internationally since July. Now it’s available for everyone to send quick 60-character thoughts to their entire list of followers (or just their chosen Close Friends) that disappear a day later, the ’00s angst energy is flowing once again.
Some users have been like me and opted for the classic MSN approach of cryptic lyrics or a “Now Listening” post while others have reverted back to their MySpace era and asked for follower engagement and comments in its most primitive form: “pc4pc”.
Apparently, the new Instagram feature is part of a larger shift towards prioritising messaging on the app.
But I can’t help but wonder if Mark Zuckerberg has been sitting on the idea of a character-capped text post feature for a while, biding his time for another popular brain-dump text feed app (ahem, Twitter) to falter before he pulled the trigger on it. It all seems a little too coincidental to me.
Whatever the go is with the new Instagram Notes feature it’s silly, a bit of fun and has resulted in a whole heap of people lighting up my DMs with their own memories of early-internet online messaging.
Now all I need is someone to give us a modern equivalent to the precious MSN Nudge that isn’t a FB poke.