Instagram is trying its hand at helping you find more accounts you'll love with a potential new update. Over the past couple days, several users have noted that the social media platform is sliding into their Direct Messages with ideas of profiles they think they'd want to follow — and chances are that you've already got the feature or you'll be seeing it sooner rather than later. According to Mashable, Instagram's "Suggestions For You" DM feature is in testing phases, meaning that the update could roll out at any time.
While Instagram has previously made use of its algorithms to suggest accounts to you based on your search activity and the people you follow, this would be the first time that it is testing out bringing the capabilities to your DMs. On Friday, June 21, Mashable first reported on the potential update, noting that some Instagram users had noticed that when they went to posts in their Instagram Direct Messages grid, a "Suggestions for You" panel with related accounts was now showing up. Underneath the panel, there was a link where you could go check out even more suggested accounts based on Instagram's algorithm if you wanted.
An Instagram rep reportedly confirmed that the feature was in testing stages to the publication, saying, "We’re always working on ways to improve your experience on Instagram and bring you closer to the people and things you love."
Elite Daily reached out to Instagram to inquire into more details about how this potential feature works as well as if it's likely to become a permanent update in the near future, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
While the move is unprecedented, it's not that surprising considering the social media platform's track record of continuing to boost user engagement with data from its search algorithms. If you think about it, the people that you choose to Direct Message are likely to be friends or accounts you're actively showing you're interested in interacting with, right? So, it's likely that you'll be seeing profiles that you actually want to follow in the new DM suggestions panel. Only time will tell whether Instagram chooses to monetize the feature by adding sponsored suggestions, but for now, it looks like the options are just based purely off what you've been searching or the people you're interacting with.
The proposed update comes months after Facebook (the parent company behind WhatsApp and Instagram) announced that it was planning to unify WhatsApp, Instagram Direct Message, and Facebook Messenger. While the apps would function separately, technicians are currently working on reconfiguring the messaging services to allow people to communicate across the different channels, according to a Jan. 25 story from The New York Times.
In a statement, Facebook said the plan comes as it attempts to "build the best messaging experiences we can" and customer desires for "messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private," according to the publication. Only time will tell if this controversial update comes to fruition, but I'd keep an eye out on your Instagram Direct Messages in the meantime to check if you're seeing any suggested accounts popping up.