Instagram has added a new, easy way for users to interact with story content with stories likeswhich allows you to “like” any story in your feed and let the creator know, without having to start a DM conversation.
❤️ I like private stories ❤️
Starting today, you can now send some love by liking people’s stories without sending a DM.
Likes on stories are private and don’t count. Instead, they appear as hearts next to people’s handles in your Stories view sheet. ??????? pic.twitter.com/l56Rmzgnnw
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) February 14, 2022
As Instagram chief Adam Mosseri demonstrated, now at the bottom of your Stories view in the app you’ll see a new heart icon, which when tapped will send the creator of that story a like.
Stories likes are not public, and only the creator will be able to see them. Creators will be able to see their favorite stories in their story previews, with a small heart icon added next to viewers’ names in the views list.
And as noted, Liked Stories won’t show up as DMs, so you’re not suddenly going to get an influx of DMs as people use the feature to react to your Stories.
Which is good, because it’s pretty annoying having to DM someone to let them know you liked their Story. This adds a simple, low-touch way to indicate your interest, without having to send a new message alert every time you want to signal it.
This could be a handy way to increase Stories engagement, while adding another signal for Instagram to use to rank Stories in your feed and highlight the ones that are most likely to interest you.
To be clear, Instagram has not indicated that this is or will be a ranking factor at this point. But you’d assume that with another medium of direct information, Instagram will look at how it could use it to improve every user’s experience, showing them more of what they literally love.
Which could be a good way to learn about the broader user response, while providing a simple feedback mechanism for creators. It’s always better to see how people react, and reducing the pressure around DM responses for stories seems like a positive step.
It also aligns stories to short TikTok-style music videos, which rely on user engagement signals for rankings and engagement. Instagram already has this on Reels, and now Stories viewers will also be able to interact more easily, which could prove to be a valuable habitual change.
So while technically this might seem like a pretty minor update, it could have a big impact, and it’ll be interesting to see how Instagram looks to use the insights it gleans from it, and if that helps. then to stimulate user engagement. .
The new Like button for Stories is rolling out to all users starting today.