People will be able to interact with Stories in a new way on Meta’s Instagram. When someone shares an image or video that catches your eye, you can now send a private like. Previously, the only way to respond to a Story was to send a direct message or an emoji reaction to the creator. Your response would appear in their messages inbox in either case, clogging the interface.
You’ll notice a new heart icon between the “Send Message” pill and the airplane icon once you’ve gained access to the feature. Should you decide to send someone a Story like, it will show up in the viewer sheet, which you can access by viewing your own Story again. A like count will not be visible to people who view your Stories publicly.
❤️ Private Story Likes ❤️— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) February 14, 2022
Starting to roll out today, you can now send some love by liking people’s stories without sending a DM.
Likes on stories are private and do not have counts. Rather, they appear as hearts next to people’s handles in your Stories view sheet. 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/l56Rmzgnnw
“The goal here is to ensure that people can express more support for one another while also cleaning up DMs a little bit,” said Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri. “For us, messaging is a top priority, and focusing on DMs between you and the people you care about is a big part of that.”
Instagram is known for adding small but useful features like this on a regular basis. For example, the company added the ability to delete images and videos from a carousel last fall. Story likes aren’t going to change the way you use Instagram in any significant way, but they are a welcome addition nonetheless.