Instagram Debuts ‘Private Story Likes’: Like a Story Without Sending DM

Instagram is rolling out a new feature it calls Private Story Likes, which lets you like somebody’s Insta Story without sending them a DM.

Previously, any response you sent to someone about a Story — whether it was an emoji or a full-on message — showed up as a response in their DM inbox; with this new feature, you can show some appreciation for a Story without clogging up the user’s DMs.

The move, which was announced by Instagram chief Adam Mosseri on Twitter, means that people won’t have their list of DMs polluted just because someone wanted to like their video.

However, Story likes won’t have a count on-screen and as the name suggests — they’re private. Mosseri says that they’ll appear as hearts next to people’s names in the Story poster’s view sheet.

So basically, once you have access to the feature, you’ll find a new heart icon located between the “Send Message” pill and airplane icon. Should you decide to send someone a Story like, it will show up in the viewer sheet, which you can access by viewing your own Story again. People who publicly view your Stories won’t see a like count.

“The idea here is to make sure that people can express more support for each other, but also to clean up DMs a little bit,” says Mosseri. “Messaging is a key priority for us, and a big piece of that is focusing on DMs between you and the people that you care about.”