Not content to simply absorb all of Snapchat's features, Facebook-owned Instagram is now making a play for the music recommendation/performance demographic and aiming to become a hotspot for Live Q&As. The platform has introduced a feature into Stories (the ephemeral feed at the top of the app) that lets users request, receive, and jam out to song suggestions, as well as a new, more official format for Live Q&A sessions.

The music feature, rolling out today in regions where the app's music library is currently available, is accessible via the sticker section when you add a new video or image to your story. All you have to do is choose the question sticker and a new music icon will pop up. When followers reply with music suggestions, you can tap the play button to listen and, if you share them to your story, you can capture a photo or video of you with the music playing in the background. There are some new camera effects for music videos, as well.

This new feature isn't exactly like TikTok (the lip-synching app formerly known as that the youths are so fond of), but it's certainly encroaching on that territory - another savvy business move by Instagram.



The other new feature rolling out today also fleshes out an engagement driver - video Q&As. It was always possible for followers to comment questions during a Live video with their favorite influence, but now those influencers (and any users hosting Live videos) can add an official question box. Once they select a question, the text will appear at the bottom of the video.

Reddit has long been a popular place for live Q&As - but one could see this Instagram option becoming the new ubiquitous celebrity fan Q&A format in the future. In fact, Instagram doesn't beat around the bush when it comes to this aspiration, snatching Reddit's Q&A subreddit title "Ask me anything" and using it in its marketing stills (shown above).

Instagram's new countdown sticker in Stories.

Lastly, Instagram has added a countdown sticker for Instagram stories, just in time for New Year celebrations. Once you create a countdown, it'll be available in your sticker tray to reuse in new stories until the countdown ends.

Find all of these new features in the latest version of the Instagram app with rollout beginning today. You can nab the app via the Google Play Store or APKMirror.

Developer: Instagram
Price: Free+