Instagram is reportedly testing improvements to how users can search for and rediscover previously shared Reels in Direct Messages (DM). In the future, Instagram could feature an additional row in the DM page, with avatars of the friends with whom you shared a reel, making it easier to access and reshare previously shared reels with other friends later. The development was first revealed via a leaked image on Twitter. TechCrunch was later reportedly able to get a confirmation on the development from a Meta spokesperson.
According to a tweet by a Turkish tipster Dijital Aglar, Instagram is currently beta testing a feature that displays recently shared between users on the DM page. A showcase row labelled ‘Latest shares’ is seen at the top of the DM page menu in an image shared by the Twitter account.
In the image, the latest shared reels are seen adorning a circular avatar, which could possibly be the avatar of the friend who shared the reel that is being displayed, notes a report by TechCrunch. The report claims to have got a confirmation from Meta that the feature is in fact in development. The report also goes on to explain how the feature will function on the app for users. According to the report, if users share one short video multiple times, it will only be displayed once alongside the avatar of the user the short video was last shared with.
The company, however, has not confirmed if this feature also shows other non-Reels posts, or other reels that haven’t been shared with or by the user in their latest shares section. The publication also did not manage to get a confirmation or an indication of when the feature is intended to be rolled out to Instagram users, or a wider pool of testers.
Meta-owned Instagram has been seen shifting focus towards short videos, in a measure seen as the company’s bid to keep up with rival short video sharing platform, TikTok. The company also announced that Instagram video posts that are shorter than 15 minutes in duration will be shared as a Reel, in an effort, the company claims, to provide the user with a full screen experience that is immersive, while also expanding the scope of collaborative features like Remix on Reels, to include any videos uploaded by the user.