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Instagram Adds Notes, Tests Candid Stories and Group Profiles

The new features encourage interactions between close friends and groups on the social media app.

Instagram app logo on a phone screen
Instagram has received criticism from users because of  recent app updates that have made it harder for people to see what their friends have posted.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Meta is launching and testing features to connect Instagram users with the people and groups they care about through Instagram Notes, Candid Stories and Group Profiles, the social media giant said Tuesday.

The Notes feature, rolled out on Tuesday, is a way for Instagram users to share their thoughts with followers they follow back or the people on their Close Friends list. People can leave Notes by going to the top of their inbox and writing up a quick, short message (up to 60 characters) that will appear in their followers' inboxes for 24 hours, Meta said in a post.

Meta, the parent company of both Instagram and Facebook, is also testing Candid Stories, which seems to be Meta's version of BeReal on Instagram, and Group Profiles, which give close friends and groups a way to privately share content with one another. 

Similar to BeReal, Candid Stories will notify users to snap a photo of what they're up to in the moment. The Candid Stories will show up in the Stories bar on the home page for people who choose to post their own Candid, and those who do not wish to receive the Candid notification can turn it off in settings. 

To create Group Profiles, people can hit the Plus icon and select Group Profiles to begin. Meta is also testing Collaborative Collections, which allow you to save content on your feed to a collection you share with friends or groups. 

Instagram has received some criticism from users because of recent updates to the app that have made it harder for people to see what their friends have posted. Earlier this year, Meta paused changes to the app after a "Make Instagram Instagram Again" petition called out its efforts to replicate features from its competitor TikTok. 

The new features highlight how the social media app is trying to serve its users' demands while also borrowing features from other popular social media apps.