Instagram 'Blend' Prioritizes Reels, Private Content Sharing

In an effort to introduce more private messaging in the app, Instagram is testing an internal prototype called “Blend,” which creates a private feed between two users based on Reels they have shared with each other, as well as their general Reels interests.

The internally tested feature -- first spotted and shared by reverse engineer and social media expert Alessandro Paluzzi, who posted a screenshot of an invite to “Blend –– works similarly to Spotify’s feature of the same name, which uses an algorithm to continually build out a playlist based on two people's listening habits.

This new Instagram feature suggests a continued move toward facilitating direct messaging in the app, a means of communication that has grown more popular over the past two years.

In 2022, Instagram head Adam Mosseri stated that “friends now post a lot more to stories, and send a lot more DMs, than they post to Feed.” Since then, the platform has introduced features like Inbox Notes, Channels, Collections and a Close Friends only option to try and to respond to and satisfy evolving user habits and needs.

In addition, Blends is likely an attempt to promote more Reels discovery as well, providing users with another reason to share Reels while increasing their watch time in a more curated way. Yet, Instagram has not shared any information on whether it will continuously update Blends with new recommendations, or when it might begin testing externally.

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