If you’ve been on Instagram recently, you’ve probably seen a new Stories feature going around that lets users ask questions anonymously. But the new write-in prompt, called NGL, isn’t actually a native Instagram feature (although it may seem similar to the Questions sticker). NGL, which stands for “not gonna lie” is a third-party app that claims to keep your queries anonymous. If you’re wondering if the NGL link is really anonymous, beware of this loophole, because there’s a way around it.
Though it’s been making the rounds on Stories since late June 2022, the NGL link isn’t a Sticker created by Instagram — the links you’ve been seeing are actually from the NGL app. The NGL app, which launched in November 2021, and is available worldwide for Apple and Android devices. It allows you to connect your IG account to the app and collect anonymously submitted questions from your followers. According to the app’s website, NGL was created as a way to give people a safe way to express their “feelings and opinions without shame.” It’s basically like Ask.FM or Formspring, if you remember those platforms from way back when.
To keep the negativity out of your inbox, NGL uses AI content moderation to filter out harmful language and bullying so that users won’t have to see any unkind messages. The app even understands the use of emojis, and can detect when the emoticons are being used to convey a message. That means every time you check your messages, you’ll hopefully only see unoffensive questions, like people wondering about where you got that one show-stopping “going out” top, or compliments on your sparkling personality.
Before you download the app (or submit a question to your crush), you’re probably wondering if NGL is really is anonymous as it claims. I tried it for myself, and TBH, it passes the anonymity test on the surface, but if the user on the other end has an NGL Pro account, your anonymity could be in trouble. Here’s the rundown on how the app works, and what you need to know about whether or not anonymity is at risk.
After you’ve downloaded the NGL app, enter your IG username to create a link that is personal to your account. Then, copy the link provided, and post it on your Story. With the link in your Story, your followers will be able to submit their questions by tapping the link and navigating to a NGL webpage that’s specific to your account.
When you’re ready to start answering some ~questions~ open the NGL app and navigate to the inbox at the top of the screen, where your messages will be waiting for you.
If you want to submit questions to an account, you’ll be taken to a third-party website where you can enter your submission into a text box. According to the submissions webpage, messages are 100% anonymous. Though that’s technically true, the app will give you hints about who submitted the comment if you have an NGL Pro account.
Is NGL Actually Anonymous?
Here’s where your anonymity could start to crumble. After opening a message, whoever you sent it to will see two options beneath the message, the first of which will read, “Who sent this.” Though the app is serious about maintaining users’ privacy, users cab subscribe to NGL Pro can by tapping the link, and from there, they’ll receive hints about who the message is from. Yup, there’s a loophole, y’all, and it could unmask you ask the asker of the question.
NGL Pro costs $9.99 per week, so if someone it shelling that out. According to the NGL website as of July 7, the app plans to introduce “more specific hints” to make it easier to figure out who sent the message in the following weeks. It’s unclear what kind of hints the app will provide, but you might want to take that into consideration before you tell your bestie it was you who scratched their car in 11th grade (*raises and immediately lowers hand*).
If the users who you send messages to don’t have NGL Pro, though, you’re in the clear. After using it a few times, it seems legit that the app doesn’t provide any indicators about who sent each message. Let’s just hope nobody else submits a juicy secret that would make someone want to spend $9.99 to figure out who it was.
Though it might not be as anonymous as you’d probably like, NGL is still a fun way to interact with your followers without any awkwardness or pressure. And as for the risk of getting caught, you’re just gonna have to decide whether or not submitting that cheeky message to your crush is worth it. Hey, maybe it’s better they know how you feel, right?
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