Respond to Messages from Instagram
  • 21 Jul 2022
  • 6 Minutes To Read
  • PDF

Respond to Messages from Instagram

  • PDF

When an Instagram Message is routed to you, you'll see a green notification banner appear at the top of your screen with the Customer's name and a short preview of their message. Click Accept to take the request.

Note - Instagram imposed limitations

Below are limitations that Instagram is currently imposing for all partners using the Instagram API:

  • Reactions sent from the Instagram App will not appear in the Conversation Timeline in Gladly.
  • All reactions are always mapped to  . This is currently a limitation of the Facebook API.

How to messages are sent from Instagram

Customers can start a Conversation from your company's Instagram profile using the Message option or by @mentioning your company username from their Story.

 Message@mention from Stories*
*A Customer's Instagram account must be public for Gladly to create a Conversation from an @mention.

How messages from Instagram are routed

Messages are routed like any other messaging Channels (e.g., SMS, chat, and Facebook Messenger). When you accept a routed message, you're taken to the Customer's Profile.

  • Known Customers – We identify Customers through their Instagram ID (not the same as username), permanently associated with an Instagram account. This ID allows Gladly to identify who the Customer is if they contact you again and pull the correct Profile. We show a Customer's full name as shown in their Instagram account in the Contact Details. Although Instagram doesn't allow Gladly to automatically store usernames for privacy reasons, you may still be able to ask for more information to add to their Contact Details, like their phone number or email address. If they provide their username, you may store it as a Customer Detail.
    Instagram username in the Contact Details is not editable.
    • New Customers – Gladly creates a Customer Profile with the user's name as shown in their Instagram profile. If they contact you again in the future, it will automatically open their Customer Profile using their name and Instagram ID (not the same as username) to pull up the correct Customer Profile. Although Instagram doesn't allow Gladly to automatically store usernames for privacy reasons, you may still be able to ask for more information to add to their Contact Details, like their phone number or email address. If they provide their username, you may store it as a Customer Detail.

Accept, decline, and reply to an Instagram message

Tip - Click 'Next' to receive more messaging Customers
The number of messaging Customers (e.g., SMS, chat, Instagram Messaging, etc.) you're automatically routed depends on the standard messaging capacity your Administrator has set. You must then click Next to receive more messaging Customers beyond the standard capacity until the maximum number of messaging Customers is met.

Once an Instagram message (Story or Message) is routed to you, you can treat it like any other Conversation.

  1. When an Instagram message is routed to you, you'll see a green notification banner appear at the top of your screen with the Customer's name and a short preview of their message. Click Accept to take the request.
    • To decline a message, click Decline from the notification banner. You can also ignore the banner, and it will automatically route to another Agent after 30 seconds. You won't receive any more chats until you click Next (either through the Next button beside the Channel Availability Controls or the Close & Next button).
  2. You'll be taken directly to their Customer Profile, where you'll find the Instagram Composition Screen pulled up, ready for you to start your response.
    • Instagram allows up to 640 characters per message. The Send button is disabled if you exceed 640 characters.
      • The character counter turns orange at 630 characters, then red at 640 characters to indicate you are at the max limit.
    • You can reply with images (video is not supported) by dropping the file on the Composition Screen or by using the attachment icon. You can use JPEG, PNG, or GIF images.
  3. When you're happy with your response, add the correct Topic, then click Send. You can stay on the Customer Profile and wait for them to reply, click Next to receive additional work, or navigate away to help other Customers. You'll know if the Customer has seen your last message with the read indicator.
  4. When they reply, you'll see the notification banner appear again with the option to Reply.
Watch Out - Time limit to respond to Instagram Stories and messages 
  • New Instagram messages must be responded to in 7 days.
  • @mentions from Stories expire in 24 hours. If an expired Story is routed to you, the Conversation Timelines show that the Story expired. Follow your team's policy on how to handle expired Stories.
    • Stories deleted by Customers before it expires still route but will appear unavailable in Gladly.

Initiate Instagram Messaging from Gladly

Instagram messages initiated from Gladly are currently not supported.

End an Instagram session

An Instagram messaging session ends if:

@mentions in Stories

Besides using the Message option on Instagram, Customers can also @mention your company username (e.g., @gladlyinc) in Stories. As a result, they appear as "<Customer name> mentioned" in the Conversation Timeline of the Customer Profile. Note that the Customer's Instagram account must be public to create a Conversation through @mentions.

For video Stories or messages, click the play icon to play the video in the Conversation Timeline. You can reply with a message or photo (video is not supported) by dropping the photo on the Composition Screen or using the attachment icon.


Tip - Deactivate @mentions
See Instagram Messaging Conversation Settings to stop @mentions from creating a Conversation in Gladly.


Expired Stories and deleted messages

Stories that have expired or been deleted will say "Story is no longer available" or "Message was deleted" in the Conversation Timeline. Follow your team's policy on how to handle expired Stories.

Like messages, stories, and replies ❤️

If a Customer likes a message or photo you sent, the ❤️emoji will appear on the bottom left of the message. Customer reactions using any emoji will appear as a ❤️in Gladly.

To Like a message or Story mention a Customer sent, click the kebab menu icon (three dots) on the message and click Like Message. The liked message is visible to you and the Customer.

  • An error appears if you Like a Story or message that is no longer available.

To Unlike a message or to remove a reaction, click the emoji on the message. The emoji will disappear.

Note - Likes and SLA
Liking a DM does not fulfill SLA.

Instagram messages between the app and Gladly (Echo)

Because Instagram messages sent directly to your company's Instagram account create a Conversation in Gladly, if a non-Gladly user (perhaps someone from your social team) replies to the message from the app, the SLA is cleared for the initial message, and the messages are also reflected (echoed) in the Conversation even if the Conversation has not been routed to an Agent. Once routed, you'll know it's an echoed message because the Conversation Timeline may say, "Routed to you because of an outgoing Instagram message."

This gives you context that a non-Gladly user has engaged with the Customer via the app, and you may not necessarily need to reply to the Conversation. Use your discretion to determine when the Conversation should be closed. 

Tip - Deactivate echos
See Instagram Messaging Conversation Settings to deactivate the echo feature.

Instagram accounts with the same name

Instagram users with the same name are always treated as distinct Customers through their Instagram ID. This means Customer Profiles are not matched unless a merge is manually initiated. Therefore, if you need to merge two Profiles, always confirm that Profiles are related before merging.

Follower count details

See the number of followers a Customer has or if they have a verified account. This information is updated whenever the Customer reaches out to you via Instagram.

  • [A] – The Customer's name as shown in their Instagram account.
  • [B] – The verified badge appears if the Customer's account is verified.
  • [C] – The number of followers the Customer has.
  • [D] – Shows Instagram accounts following the Customer that are associated with your company. Doesn't include unassociated Instagram accounts.
  • [E] – Shows Instagram accounts the Customer is following that are associated with your company. Doesn't include unassociated Instagram accounts.
    • Hover over [D] and [E] to see additional Instagram accounts the Customer follows or is followed by.

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