Instagram launches Notes as Twitter users seek alternatives

Instagram logo on OnePlus 9
(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Instagram Notes is a new feature that lets you jot down quick thoughts.
  • Instagram is gaining new Group Profiles where members can post content.
  • Candid is a new feature that notifies users when they can post to their story using their phone's cameras.

Instagram is heading into the new year with a host of features that encourage more friendly interactions, whether it's through images, video, or even text.

The company announced on Tuesday that it is launching its new Notes feature. It's a bit different from the app's usual focus on more visual content, allowing users to post small status updates from their inboxes. These can be up to 60 characters in length, and users can include emoji if they want. Only mutually followed accounts can view them, and you can respond directly from your inbox.

(Image credit: Meta)

It's an interesting move for Instagram, particularly as users question their allegiance to Twitter amid Elon Musk's ownership. Following his purchase of the social media platform, users have been seeking Twitter alternatives like Mastadon, which has seen a surge in use in recent weeks. Meanwhile, Musk has recently teased that Twitter may increase its character limit to 4,000, which could make for a very different site.

In addition to Notes, Instagram is also introducing its own version of BeReal, an app that notifies users at a random point in the day to snap and post a photo of whatever they're doing. The feature is called Candid, and users can post a story using their front and rear cameras after receiving a notification.

(Image credit: Meta)

For now, Meta says it's testing the feature on Instagram and Facebook, and users are able to opt out if they don't want to participate. Still, it's not surprising Meta would want to copy such a popular app, which users voted as the best app in Google Play's Best of 2022.

Speaking of Facebook, Instagram is borrowing its Groups feature but with its own spin. The upcoming Group Profiles are shared profiles that let participants contribute posts, stories, and more, with content only available for group members. Users can create new groups from the + icon.

(Image credit: Meta)

Finally, Instagram is encouraging even more collaboration with an update to Add Yours and Collaborative Collections. Now, when you add an image to an Add Yours prompt, it will now allow you to pass it on to your friends so they can add theirs, too. And with Collaborative Collections, users can share a collection of posts with a friend or group based in mutual interests.

(Image credit: Meta)

Some of these new features, like Notes, have already begun appearing on the Instagram app for iOS and Android phones.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.