Instagram is sending users 'highlights' from their friends / Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Users will be sent emails showing them what they've missed why they were away

Seemingly aware that being a four-and-a-half-year old app in the internet age makes you practically geriatric, Instagram is sending unsolicited email digests to its users in a bid to keep them engaged.

In a tactic emulating how Facebook and Twitter interact with their users, Instagram will send emails – dubbed ‘highlights’ – featuring what are considered to be the bests posts from people they follow.

The messages are designed to coax back people who have fallen out of love with the app, including those irritated by users who post too often and drown out less active Instagrammers.

A spokesperson from the social media app told Tech Crunch that this is the first time Instagram has sent re-engagement emails.

Josh Constine, an expert from Tech Crunch, explained: “[Instagram] has ‘300 million monthly users’, but that’s an imprecise statistic encompassing some who hardly check it. To accomplish its mission of sharing moments and fuel its ad-based business model, it needs us to voraciously browse its feed,” he says.

“Highlights could remind people what they’re missing when they don’t open Instagram.”

The system comes after Twitter launched Highlights feature, which will send users twice-daily notifications.

And following reports that younger people do not use Facebook, the website is also dabbling with the idea of attempting to maintain users, by also mailing and texting them.

A recent study by the Pew Research Centerin the US revealed that more than half of adults with internet access aged 65 and over use Facebook, and roughly half of young adults aged between 18 and 29 use Instagram - 49 per cent of whom use it daily.