Instagram is introducing a new way for users to interact with Stories by showing appreciation with a simple like, rather than sending a direct message.
In an official announcement from Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, it was said that this feature is being rolled out in an effort to clean up users’ inboxes.
Previously, to interact with an Instagram Story, you either had to re-share it or reply to it with a comment.
All of these options clutter up users’ inboxes with notifications.
You can now engage in a story by clicking the like button, just as you would a normal feed post, which doesn’t send a direct notification to the other user.
While the button looks similar, there are some key differences between Stories likes and Feed post likes.
Here’s what you need to know about them.
How Instagram Story likes work
The Like button on Instagram Stories will now appear as a heart icon.
Users can show their appreciation for your story by clicking the like button. You will not know how many likes your story received or who liked it, unless you check it manually.
You can see the likes on your story in the so-called Viewer Sheet, where you can go to see who viewed your story.
Instagram will not notify you about likes on stories because the purpose of posting them is to reduce notifications.
As Mosseri announced earlier this year, one of Instagram’s priorities is to improve the messaging experience. Story likes are part of a larger effort to improve Instagram DMs.
Story likes are not visible to the public, so only you will know how many likes the story has received.
Since story likes are tracked in the viewer sheet, you’ll have 24 hours to monitor how many likes a story gets before the data disappears.
Mosseri did not explicitly say whether liking stories would have an algorithmic effect.
So it is unknown if stories will be pushed to the front of the stories carousel if they get a lot of likes.
We also don’t know if likes will increase the chances of a story appearing in the Explore tab.
Whereas likes on feed posts definitely have an algorithmic impact on the main feed and Explore tab.
For all the known details about Instagram Story Likes, see Mosseri’s ad below:
❤️ Private Story Likes ❤️
Starting with today’s release, you can now send some love by liking people’s stories without sending a direct message.
Likes on stories are private and don’t matter. Instead, they appear as hearts next to people’s handles in the Stories view sheet. 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/l56Rmzgnnw
– Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) February 14, 2022
Today, we’re launching Story Likes — the ability to like any Story you see on Instagram. Now as you scroll through Stories, between sending the message and that little kite, there’s going to be a heart symbol. viewer sheet, not in your DM thread with them.So you can do this without worrying about your messages getting crowded.
And if they want to see everything they like, or if you post a story and want to see your likes, you can go to the viewer page for that story and there will be a little heart icon from any viewers who have already liked that story.
The idea here is to make sure people can express more support for each other, but also to clean up the DMs a bit. I said at the beginning of the year that messaging was a major priority for us, and a big part of that is DM’s focus on conversations between you and the people you care about.
So check it out. Follow your stories, and if you see that you are interested in them, send a few likes. Send someone a little love. Let me know what you think. Let me know if you have any other ideas for things we can do to improve the messaging experience on Instagram. “
Featured image: Look Studio / Shutterstock