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Instagram Announces New Interactive Features at ‘Instagram University’ Event

Instagram has announced some coming new features, which are designed to lean into younger audience trends, including birthday shout-outs, selfie videos for Notes, and new group interaction options.

Most of which had already been spotted in testing, but IG has now confirmed them officially at its Instagram University event in New York, which likely means they’ll be appearing in the app any time soon.

First off, Instagram’s looking to give users more ways to celebrate each others’ birthdays, via birthday effects on profiles, and new reminders for connections.

Instagram’s been working on this since early this year, as uncovered by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, with new birthday profile effects and controls over who among your contacts will be informed that it’s your birthday.

Instagram birthday reminders

Instagram also says that its Notes inbox group chat feature has been particularly popular with young users, so it’s adding some new tools to enhance Notes engagement, including audio clips, which it first began testing in August, and selfie videos.

Instagram audio notes

Instagram also shared more info on its new close-friend groups option, which will enable users to share Stories with more specific groups, as opposed to posting publicly. Instagram chief Adam Mosseri announced that this feature is now in testing earlier this week.

Instagram Stories sharing

Instagram’s also working on new music features that are designed to enhance creative expression in the app, though it didn’t provide examples of what, exactly, these will be.

In addition to these, other coming IG features in testing include ‘Crews’ for more private Story sharing (though that may now have been integrated into its new Stories sharing tools), and a new trivia game within IG live-streams.

Instagram says that the new features are designed to enhance the platform’s appeal with users aged between 16 and 25, in a bid to keep them engaged with the app, as opposed to drifting off to TikTok instead.

And while none of them are game-changers, as such they could provide more engagement and interaction options among more enclosed friend groups, which could ensure that IG remains a key conduit for connection, in various ways.

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