There is currently no way to appreciate someone’s Instagram Story without clogging up their direct messages (DMs). This is because all responses to a Story are currently sent separately through DMs, regardless of whether it is just an emoji or a full message.
However, Instagram is about to make it a lot easier to like someone’s story. The social media giant is rolling out a new feature called Private Story Likes and it will let you appreciate someone’s Story without sending any DMs.
As the name says, these likes will be private and will not have counts. Instead, these likes will only appear as hearts next to people’s Instagram handles in your Stories view sheet. Instagram head Adam Mosseri made the announcement on social media saying:
So now, as you go through Stories, between send message and that little paper airplane, there will be a heart icon. And if you tap on it, it’ll send the author of that story a like, and that like will show up in the viewer sheet, not in your DM thread with them.
❤️ Private Story Likes ❤️
Starting to roll out today, you can now send some love by liking people’s stories without sending a DM.
Likes on stories are private and do not have counts. Rather, they appear as hearts next to people’s handles in your Stories view sheet. 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/l56Rmzgnnw
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) February 14, 2022
The new feature is rolling out today, so it should be available on your Instagram app as soon as the next update arrives