None of these new tools are necessarily revolutionary, but they all add something more that could be useful in your interactive process.
First up on new chat themes – last month we reported that Facebook was working on new Star Wars themed backgrounds for Instagram Direct chats, which some say could be linked to the May 4th celebration.
Now, Facebook has officially launched these backgrounds, along with additional new themes for “ Selena: The Series, ” providing another way to personalize your chats on IG and in Messenger.
As you can see, the new themes turn your chat backgrounds into these stylized visual variations, which could be ideal for fans of both franchises.
And they could also signal new branding and linking opportunities, with Facebook potentially offering these as a new way for entertainment brands to connect with fans.
There is no indication that Facebook will take the next step, and it worked thematic links like this in the past, and they haven’t become a mainstream promotional offer. But it could end up being a nice addition for larger scale campaigns in the future.
To activate the new Star Wars or Selena Chat themes in Messenger or Instagram, go to your chat settings and tap on “ Theme ”, then select from the options offered.
Another thematic addition is a new set of stickers on Messenger and Messenger Kids that celebrate “The Diversity and Impact of People in Asia and the Pacific” for API Heritage Month.
The addition of these new stickers on Messenger Kids is particularly interesting – as explained Facebook:
“Kids can experience the rich and diverse traditions, stories and unique cultures of countries in Asia and the Pacific Islands with a series of Messenger Kids camera stickers. We’ve even created an easy sticker. reference guide to help parents have more in-depth conversations with their children about API cultures. “
The addition reference guide provides an educational element – so, rather than just being an interesting addition to children’s images, the feature also serves an educational purpose, which can be a more active way to involve children in seasonal and historical events.
It’s an interesting experience, if nothing else.
You can access the new sticker of the month guide from the Messenger Kids API. here.
On a more functional level – although perhaps more intrusive – Facebook is also adding read receipts to Instagram Direct, so you know when people have seen your DMs.
I don’t know the read receipts. It sounds like a ratchet for angst, in many cases – but there is still a functional value in knowing when your post has been seen. It just depends on your response expectations and how that affects your mental response.
Either way, he’s now here to keep you updated.
Instagram is also receiving new visual responses, which will allow users to respond to a DM with another photo or video.
“Just tap the camera icon to reply with a photo or video of your choice.”
This could have branded functionality to diagnose product issues or respond with sample products in flow. It could help, for example, with, say, a fashion correspondence service, where users send you an item and your business responds with a free product from your catalog.
There is a range of potential uses here, and this could be another one to experiment with. The new feature is now available on iOS, with Android coming soon.
Next, recognizing the growing interest in audio, Facebook is also adding a new tap-to-record feature on Messenger, which will also be available in Instagram’s DMs soon.
“We’re making it easy to use hands-free mode with Tap-to-Record on Messenger (and Instagram coming soon) Now you don’t have to hold the mic down – Tap-to-Record lets you create the perfect message sound while you’re doing other things and makes it a more accessible feature. “
This is a fairly simple, yet functional option that could help users record and send their voicemail messages.
Which, given the wider audio social trend, is becoming increasingly important. Facebook notes that there has been a 20% increase in audio messaging in the United States in recent months.
And finally, Facebook is also adding a new “drag to archive” process in Messenger to make it easier to clean and manage the inbox.
Facebook also adds a new archived discussions folder on mobile to better allow users to find their old chats.
“Instead of having to manually search for archived conversations on your phone, just tap your profile picture and select Archived Discussions for a full list of archived threads.”
Personally, I find these shortcuts annoying at times, as I always end up archiving the wrong thing, but simplifying this process will make it easier to manage your inbox, while keeping your past exchanges for reference.
As noted, none of these changes are groundbreaking, but they all add something, and each will have specific value for certain users.
Visual responses are probably the most interesting, but educational additions to Messenger Kids stickers also have potential, and chat backgrounds could become more important for brand promotions in the future as well.
Anyway, new messaging considerations. Update to the latest version of each app to access these new features (if available on your operating system).