Thursday, December 12, 2013
I don't care if this is a knee-jerk to keep young IG users from wandering onto Snapchat or Path, this is a feature I've been dreaming about ever since I first waded into Instagram over two years ago.
By that time, I was a Twitter junkie and although the Instagram platform was so engaging, I really missed the opportunity to contact followers directly. I wasn't about to adopt a secondary platform like Kik - as many did - just to contact my to IG friends directly.
I've sent one sorry little DM so far, so I've nowhere near explored the possibilities of this feature, but my mind is racing. I can now send a pic or 15-second video clip to one, or any combination, of my followers. That's a big deal. Why?
Here are four simple things Instagram DMs will do for me and IG users across Instaverse.
1) We can now share messages privately, rather than conversing in public under someone else's pics and vids. Hey, I love the whole watercooler thing, you know. The idea that IG conversations are convened around public images. But sometimes rather than communicating on public bulletin board, all I want to do is leave a private post-it.
(Anyway, thank you Instagram. And thank you Facebook for not messing up platform I still love, at least so far, after you horrified everyone with your $1 billion IG purchase 18 months ago.)
2) Community managers for organizational Instagram ccounts can now respond to followers privately. This gives them greater flexibility to offer guidance or deal with complaints.
3) Instagram pics and video will allow for asynchronous meetings. Sure you can do this on other platforms already. But IGers will appreciate the fact that working groups, organizational teams, and family members can now huddle privately, whenever.
4) Personalized Christmas or holiday greetings to friends, colleagues and family members will be a cinch. There's a lot to be said for warm and fuzzy video/pics targeted to people you love.
As with any new tech, IG users will respond to the DM ability by creating a tonne of new uses for the feature.
Some tech press is already hailing Instagram's DM announcement as meh, and sure it's been a long time coming.
But IG users are going to go crazy for the next few weeks.