Here's how to use the new Instagram Notes feature

If you were browsing Instagram sometime on the evening of December 13, 2022, you may have noticed that a new feature has been added to the platform. Just above the direct message is a new field that gives users the option to add a "note" to their account. Some users have compared it to AIM away messages or, not surprisingly, to Twitter alternatives. Here's everything you need to know about the new features.

What are Instagram notes?

Instagram Notes is a new update to the app that allows users to post messages to their account using up to 60 characters. Notes can include letters, special characters, and emojis, and can be shared with all of your followers, or just your list of close friends (if you have one). You can find Instagram Notes by going to your main following feed and pressing the paper airplane button for direct messages.

Directly above the message thread is a new feed that looks similar to the Instagram Stories feed. Anyone who posts a live note will display a rounded version of their profile photo, and their notes will look like thought bubbles from their photo. You can click on each comment to view it, and you can scroll horizontally to see all live comments from accounts you follow.

Instagram annotations can be found above your direct message threads. Yuan

Can you reply to Instagram notes?

You can reply to Instagram comments just like you reply to Instagram Stories - either as a message reply or as a one-click emoji reply such as hearts, flames, clapping, crying, heart eyes, and smiley faces. To do this, click on the note of someone you follow and you'll be taken to a screen with emoji options and a field to enter a reply to the message, if you wish. Replies to notes will be viewed as private messages, just like replies to Instagram Stories.

How long can Instagram notes be saved?

Instagram annotations last 24 hours before disappearing, but can be deleted at any time. If you have posted a comment and want it removed before the time limit, click on your photo in the comment feed and you will be prompted to delete the comment or leave a new one.

Instagram notes comparison. Twitter

With some Twitter users considering leaving the platform due to recent changes, alternatives like Mastodon and Discord appear to have some appeal. While Instagram Notes is a new update, disappearing status is similar to Twitter in that it's a brief way to leave thoughts on your profile. The main difference, besides the 60-character limit versus Twitter's 280-character limit (which may change soon), is that Instagram notes are ephemeral. After 24 hours, the annotation will be removed from your profile and will not be visible to your followers.