Instagram is developing a new product, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), that will allow people to start conversations with businesses or creators’ accounts by tapping on a commonly asked question within a chat. Those who already have the feature available report they’re able to create set of up to four questions which can optionally be displayed at the beginning of a conversation with other users.
The feature could be useful for businesses that are often responding to customer inquiries about their products or services, or for creators who receive a number of inbound requests from fans or brands interested in collaborations, for example.
The product’s introduction highlights the extent that Instagram’s messaging platform now overlaps with Facebook Messenger, following the recent launch of the new Instagram messaging experience. In September, Facebook announced Instagram users would have the option to upgrade to a new inbox that now offers a number of Messenger-inspired features — like the ability to change your chat color, react with any emoji, set messages to disappear, and more. The upgrade also introduced cross-app communication between Instagram and Messenger’s platforms.
With these changes, it appears Facebook is paving a road towards making the Instagram messaging experience more on par with Messenger.
Today, the Messenger app offers a similar FAQ option for Facebook Page owners under the Automated Responses section in Messenger’s settings. Here, Page owners or admins can set up a series of frequently asked questions and their responses to those questions which can be presented at the beginning of conversations with their Page — just like this new Instagram feature offers.
The Instagram FAQ option had been spotted earlier this year while in development, but seemed to be only for Business accounts, according to the app’s code.
However, new reports and screenshots from one Instagram user with access to the feature indicate the FAQ will be available for creator accounts, in addition to businesses.
Given that @thenezvm has access to the feature now, as the above credited screenshots show, the FAQ option could either be in early testing or starting to roll out more broadly.
It’s likely the former, however, as Instagram declined to comment or provide details, when TechCrunch asked for more information.