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Facebook Adds New Chat Themes and Reads Receipts on Instagram

people's favorite star wars theme introduced by Facebook in chats
Facebook tries to innovate chat appearance

With new, themed stickers and backgrounds, visual replies on Instagram, improved audio recording tools, and an updated archive feature, Facebook has rolled out a raft of new messaging features across Messenger, Instagram Direct and Messenger Kids.

On chat themes: We reported last month that Facebook was working on new Star Wars-themed Instagram Direct chat backgrounds, which some thought might be linked to May Fourth celebrations.

Selena: The Series

Facebook has expanded its customization options on Instagram and Messenger by launching three new backgrounds for ‘Selena: The Series. With these new themes, your chat backgrounds will become more stylized, something that many fans of both franchises would appreciate.

There’s no sign that Facebook will take the next step, and it’s done similar promotions before, but they haven’t become a common promotional offering. But we may see this approach for larger-scale campaigns in the future.

Choose either ‘Themes’ from the available options when you head to your chat settings in Messenger or Instagram. An additional theme add-on is the new set of stickers for Messenger and Messenger Kids. The stickers depict “the diversity and impact of Asian and Pacific Islander peoples” for API Heritage Month.

Read receipts on Instagram

Furthermore, Facebook is also adding read receipts within Instagram Direct, which lets you know when people have read your DMs. There is a certain degree of value in receiving read receipts, regardless of whether or not the message has been read. It all depends on what your expectations are for a response and how that influences your response. Either way, now it’s there to keep you updated.

Likewise, Instagram is getting a new visual reply, which lets users reply to a DM with a pic or video. A brand could use that feature to provide technical support and to respond with product examples in-stream. It can be helpful for a fashion matching service, for example, where the customer sends a product, and the business provides a complementary product from your catalog.

Growing audio feature

Also, in recognition of the rising popularity of audio, Facebook’s also adding the new tap-to-record feature to Messenger, available shortly on Instagram DMs as well. Providing users the ability to record and send their voice messages. Due to the growing popularity of audio, audio messaging has become increasingly significant. Based on data compiled by Facebook, audio messaging has increased by 20 percent in the United States in recent months. Facebook’s also rolling out ‘swipe to archive’ within Messenger to manage users’ inboxes better.


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