Instagram’s newest Stories sticker lets people ask their followers to join a new group chat and then gives the poster the power to select who can join. The new feature, called the chat sticker, joins a bunch of other stickers Instagram has introduced to Stories, including polls, question boxes, mentions, locations, hashtags, and countdowns, among others. The chat sticker is relatively straightforward, and Instagram is positioning it as a solution for people who want to have a big group conversation about something or for making plans.If someone places a chat sticker on their story, friends can tap the sticker to request access to the chat. The original poster can then choose who they want to include in the new chat, which will take place in their direct messages inbox. They can then end that chat at any time.
This feature seems designed for people who interact with their real friends on Instagram; I’m not totally sure how influencers would use the tool. Maybe they could start a conversation with their fans, but that could get unwieldy. The chat sticker specifically harkens back to when Instagram wasn’t just a tool for brands and influencers to grow their following, but when it was a place where friends shared content with each other and talked about things they love. There are certainly people using the platform in that way still, but it’s hard to remember they exist when the platform is inundated with influencers and curated content.