It’s the perfect time to shoot your shot.
Anonymous question forums are a social media staple (former Formspring-er here!), so it was only a matter of time before the classic craze made its way to Instagram. The latest anonymous question trend, called NGL (aka “Not Gonna Lie), takes the pastime into a new decade by allowing your IG followers to send messages anonymously, but despite its popularity on the platform, it isn’t actually an IG original feature — it’s an app. Here’s the rundown on how the new app works, and how to use the NGL link on Instagram for some spicy questions.
The NGL link has been making the rounds on IG Stories all over the world since late June 2022, so it’s easy to confuse the feature for another Stories Sticker. In reality, the new Stories trend is actually just a link to a third-party messaging app, called NGL, that lets users submit and view questions anonymously. Every NGL user has their own personalized link for submissions, and you can only access messages via the app, not Instagram. Basically, IG is only used to send out the link and collect the comments — nothing else.
If you were on Formspring or Ask.FM circa 2010, then you’ll probably remember that those forums let people submit anything — like, anything. Luckily, NGL uses AI content moderation to filter out harmful language and bullying so that users will only see the good stuff and none of the bad. The app even understands the use of emojis, and can detect when the emoticons are being used to convey a message, which means there’s no getting past this AI, y’all.
Though it might sound confusing, using NGL and the NGL link is actually pretty simple once you get the hang of it (Formspring is shaking in its grave rn). Here’s how it works.
How To Post NGL Link
First, you’ll need to download the NGL app. After you’ve done that, you’ll be prompted to enter your IG username to create a link that is personal to your account. (FYI, the app doesn’t ask you for your password, so it’s totally secure.) Next, you’ll need to copy the link provided, and post it on your Story. To do so, just take or upload the photo you want to include, then tap the Sticker button in the top right corner of the screen. Select the Link Sticker, tap the screen, and paste the link.
Once you’ve posted your Story, your work is done, and it’s time to watch the comments come in. With the link in your Story, your followers will be able to submit their questions by tapping the link and navigating to a NGL webpage that’s been created for your account. They’ll even see your IG profile pic and handle to ensure their queries are only going to you.
Your followers can either create their own questions, or roll the Dice button in the bottom right of the text box to generate a random comment.
How To View NGL Messages
When you’re ready to start answering some q’s, open the NGL app and navigate to the Inbox at the top of the screen. There, your messages will be waiting for you — unopened messages will appear with a pink and orange ombre background behind the letter-sealed-with-a-heart Emoji, while previously read messages will appear to look faded.
BTW, if you delete the app and re-download it later, your messages will be deleted, too. So if you get any *juicy* confessions, you might want to screenshot them before they’re gone for good.
How To Reply To NGL Messages
The only way you can respond to a question is if you post it on your Story for all your followers to see. To respond, tap the “Reply” button below the message. From there, you’ll be taken to your IG Story, where the message will appear exactly how it does in your Inbox. Type your answer anywhere on the screen and post to your Story.
Once you’ve replied to a question, you’ll see a green check mark in the corner of that message in your Inbox.
Can You See Who Sent NGL Messages?
Above the “Reply” option is a button that says “Who sent this?” If you’re really curious to figure out the account behind the message (and you have some money to spend), you can subscribe to NGL Pro to receive hints about who the sender might be. NGL Pro costs $9.99 a week, and to subscribe, all you have to do is tap the button and confirm your purchase.
According to the app’s website as of July 8, NGL will be rolling out “more specific hints” in the upcoming weeks to make the guessing game even easier, which could be good if you receive an ~intriguing~ message, but bad if you confess your feelings to your crush.
Can You Have Multiple NGL Accounts?
According to the NGL website, the app is only allows for one NGL account, which means you’ll have to choose whether you want to connect yours to your real Insta, your finsta, or your pet’s account. Decisions, decisions.
Whether you’re nostalgic for the days of Formspring, or you’re just in the mood to answer some cheeky q’s, you’re definitely gonna want to jump on the NGL trend ASAP. Who knows, you might get a juicy message that’ll make spending $10 on a NGL Pro account worth it.