Today’s the 3rd part of the series I’ve been doing based off an interview from @verge about Instagram’s Direct Messaging, featuring Connor Hayes, Instgram’s head of Product for Messaging. If you missed the last 2 parts, check out my previous posts.

Last October Mark Zuckerberg said a growing number of users are shifting from posting publicly to sharing privately in messaging apps.  In January, Facebook announced via press release that the goal is to  unite all its messaging platforms – Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct, and WhatsApp. Connor provided some more details around that in this interview. “If we do our job well, at the end of the day, Instagram, when you open it up is going to feel a lot more like walking into a party and hanging out with your friends than it is today. And we see messaging as a big part of that. There’s a huge opportunity for us to make Instagram overall more of a relationship building activity, and that’s the thing that we’re focused on.”

Here’s why this is important – if you already know how to start a Direct Messaging conversation with someone based on a Story they posted, then transition it to a real-life friendship, maybe even find a way to work together – you’re going to be in the best position to take advantage of this combined messaging platform. If you can start a conversation with someone that leads to a friendship, you can do the same thing when it comes to a conversation that turns into a job interview, or a consulting gig, or anything else. This is a valuable skill that a lot of people won’t understand, but if you can do it skillfully, you’ll be prepared for relationship building regardless of what platform the conversation starts on or ends on.

Have you ever built a friendship based on a DM from someone’s story? Comment below!

Mural credit: @jr
Photo credit: Random guy I found on the street