As part of its efforts to make its platform more useful for businesses, Instagram is reorganising Instagram Direct, making it easier for businesses to organise their conversations with the public.
Apart from the recent introduction of in-app payments and the selective rolling out of call-to-action buttons on business profiles, Instagram is also concentrating on simplifying its inbox. Over 150 million people have conversations with businesses on Instagram Direct each month, and roughly one-third come from Instagram Stories. Now, it’s making messaging easier and more efficient, with the introduction of several new features.
One is a better way to manage messages. Important new customer messages will now appear in the main Direct inbox – not in the pending folder. Conversations can also be “starred” and filtered, so that whoever’s reading them can get back to them later on to follow up. A “set of signals” will help the system place the messages into either the pending inbox, or the main inbox. These are not clear at this point. Explaining the changes, Director of product management, business Vishal Shah said that “customers interact with businesses via comments. A conversation may begin in comments and end up in Direct. This will be evolving over time.”
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Also, Shah says that “in the coming weeks” Instagram will begin testing “quick replies” so that common questions can be responded to much more efficiently. Shah explained that “this is not about automated responses or pre-canned responses: It’s about removing some of the friction.” The quick replies can be changed, and businesses “have the opportunity to add their authentic voices” to them.