You Can Now Bounce Edited Versions of Photo Messages Back on Instagram

Instagram are pushing their photo messaging service hard at the moment. Not content with simply offering a decent quality direct messaging option, they have been broadening the options offered by photo messaging with almost every new app update. The most recent addition is the ability to reply to photo messages by sending the photo back, with a few changes.

Now, when you receive a photo message within private chat, there will be a reply button attached. Tapping this button will turn the photo into a sticker, and from there you can draw on it, add text to it, enlarge it (until it fills the top half of the screen) and add further stickers to it. With that done, you can send it back to the respondent, along with whatever image you choose to put in the background (probably just a selfie).

It's a cool addition, and it does open things up to some pretty ridiculous, feedback loop image sending. Just think, if you send an edited reply back, and the other person then does the same thing to that image, and you do the same again, well you get where this is going. It wouldn't surprise me if we soon start seeing posts about people trying to break the record for longest 'Instagram Inception' message chain.

The nice thing about the reaction side of the response is that it doesn't have to be a photo, it can also be a video or Boomerang, and if it's a selfie, the same library of filters is still available. It's fair to point out that photo replies like these run the risk of becoming cluttered, but that's really up to the people using it, and it will probably be a while before anyone figures out the most elegant way to use this feature.

It doesn't stop at private messaging, though. You can reply to Stories with either text or a photo now as well. It's not as deep as the photo editing reply option, but it almost makes more sense, as it's finally opened up a way for people to show a more contextual appreciation for Stories, rather than just registering their approval.

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