This week, many Instagram users were surprised to open their accounts and see a “Notes” section, similar to Facebook’s status update feature or Tweets on Twitter. 

The new feature lets users share a text message of up to 60 characters long with their audience. Notes appear in a horizontal feed at the top of the Instagram inbox. 

Here’s how to create a Note on the Instagram app for Android and iPhone:

  1. Tap the Instagram Messenger icon in the top right of the screen.
  2. Select the plus sign under the word Notes, to the left of Notes already published.
  3. Get creative and type your Note.
  4. Select whether to share your Note with the followers you follow back or your Close Friends list.
  5. Hit Share on the top right to spread your message!

Notes last for 24 hours on the app. After a full day, they are automatically deleted. Users can delete notes sooner by tapping on the Note and then selecting Delete Note

If someone replies to your note, a chat thread will begin between the two of you. Other users who view or reply to your note will not see that private exchange. 

Back in March, Instagram started ramping up its messaging features to fulfill its goal of making Instagram a go-to destination for friends looking to connect. The move is part of the platform’s plan to rebrand itself as more than just a photo-sharing app. 

Some of those recent messaging additions include the ability to create a poll in a group chat, quickly send messages, easily reshare posts to friends, reply while browsing and see who is online right from your inbox. 

If Notes become available to Business accounts, brands will be able to benefit from the new addition. The feature would help businesses get a quick message out to audiences and be top of inbox as soon as a user opens their Instagram inbox. 

Right now, the feature is only available to some users — and it’s getting mixes reviews: