How to play Instagram's hidden Pong game

Instagram has a new game you can play, entirely in its app

Instagram Pong
(Image credit: Max Freeman-Mills / Future)
Quick Summary

Instagram has added a little game based on Pong that you can play inside the social media app.

You can even choose an emoji to play with.

One of Instagram's recent app updates added a fun little feature that some people took a while to notice.

The app now has its own Pong-style game, to be played on any of the best smartphones or another handset that can run Instagram – a keepie-uppie simulator that lets you control how it looks.

This is because it's all off the back of emojis, from your DMs. It's really easy to access, and explaining how to play will also reveal what we mean by that.

How to play the Instagram Pong game

It's simple to get started with the game. Follow these steps!

  1. Ensure Instagram is updated on your phone and open the app.
  2. Head to your DMs by tapping the paper airplane at the top right of your display.
  3. Tap into any conversation and send a single emoji of your choice. 
  4. Once it's sent, tap on the Emoji to enter the game. 

As you'll see, this will immediately start you off playing, controlling a small paddle at the bottom of your display while the emoji you chose bounces around atop it. 

You just have to keep it bouncing for as long as you can, and the game will keep track of your high score at the top-right of the screen. 

The fun thing is that the game's appearance and background colour will adapt to whatever emoji you choose, so it'll be pale yellow like ours if you opt for a smiley face, but any number of other colours for different choices. 

Sadly there's no multiplayer element here, though – you won't be playing against whoever you sent the emoji to, or anything like that.

Rather, think of it as a way to pass the time if you just sent a DM that you expect to attract an immediate reply, but things aren't moving as quickly as you hoped. This could be a great way to stop yourself from fidgeting or, worse, sending an ill-advised follow-up. 

This addition came when Instagram added some other messaging features that are welcome, including the ability to pin chats to the top of your inbox, edit your messages, and turn read receipts on or off globally. So, it looks like DMs just got quite a big level up, all things considered. 

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.