Reddit users began posting about a new “anonymous” questions sticker on Instagram on June 22. The feature allows users to ask their followers questions via Instagram Stories. Followers can then respond, and the original poster can share the answers publicly without revealing the Instagram handle of the accounts from which they were sent.
The person who originally posed the question, though, can see who the reply is from — so it’s not truly anonymous.
Here’s how to get the new feature:
Create an Instagram Story
To begin the process, create an Instagram story. From there, either select a previous picture or take a new one to use as a background image. Then choose the stickers option, the square icon with a smiling face.
Select the ‘Questions’ Option
You will be presented with various sticker options, including “music” and “poll,” to add to your story. Among those options is “questions.” Tap “questions” to add to your story.
Ask Your Followers a Question
You can ask your followers any question you would like. Their replies will only come to you. If you don’t like the background color provided by Instagram, you can change the color by scrolling through the color palette at the top of the page.
In order to view the replies, tap on “questions” in your story’s sticker options and swipe up. You will then see the replies under “responses.”
The anonymity of the feature has been the subject of a Reddit thread. One frustrated user wrote, “Frick, yesterday i confessed to my crush and now i see it’s a scam.” Posts on that page indicate that users first became aware of the feature through TikTok.
Are They Really Anonymous?
Although some users online have dubbed it the “anonymous questions” sticker, the responses are not really anonymous. If you reply to a question, the person who asked the question will be able to see your username. However, if that person posts your reply publicly, your handle will not show up.
A different application named Tellonym allows users “to receive anonymous and honest feedback from everyone who is important to [them].” Arguably the first social media site to allow users to ask anonymous questions was Ask.fm. The site was launched in 2010 and became infamous after it was linked to instances of bullying and even suicide among teenagers.
The anonymous questions sticker is not the only new Instagram feature launched in June 2020. Earlier this month, the company launched new Pride month features. According to Search Engine Journal, those features include hashtags that will create a rainbow emoji. Those phrases include #lgbtq, #bornperfect, #equalitymatters, #accelerateacceptance and #pride2020.
In addition, the company has launched a black heart feature that users can add to their Instagram stories. The black heart is part of the 2020 Juneteenth celebrations.