Instagram’s newest Stories feature doesn’t feel much like Instagram. The platform’s new “type mode,” which starts rolling out today, lets users add pages to their stories that just involve text. No photos or videos are needed. Users can choose from colorful, customizable backgrounds and different text styles, including a neon font and one that’s reminiscent of a typewriter. Stickers can be added, too. You’ve probably already seen a similar-looking page when you respond to a friend’s direct messages.
I don’t fully understand why Instagram wants to give people a place to share their written thoughts. I like Instagram mostly because I don’t have to read anything. I just absorb copious amounts of photos and videos. I go on Twitter or Facebook if I want to read a rant. But Facebook has slowly brought features to Instagram that originated with the flagship platform. In fact, this style of “bold white text on a brightly colored background” started in the main Facebook feed, and a type mode already exists in Messenger and Facebook Stories.
There are other examples: Instagram DMs now say how long ago someone was active, like Facebook Messenger. Those DMs also have read receipts that are on by default and cannot be turned off, just like Facebook Messenger. It’s a terrible situation when you’re trying to avoid people.
Users can also now create “archives” of photos and videos they previous posted to their main Instagram grid, which effectively hides those posts from their followers without fully deleting them. This is similar to how Facebook users can toggle privacy settings on individual photos.
Really, I just hope this new type mode doesn’t catch on because I’m really trying to limit how many random thoughts I have to read on a daily basis. Also, I like Instagram. Please don’t ruin it with words, Facebook.