Instagram is testing a standalone Direct messaging app

08 December, 2017, 02:03 | Author: Darren Santiago
  • Instagram tests standalone messaging app called Direct

So if you want to direct message someone, you won't be able to do it from the main app anymore with Direct installed.

When users in those countries install Direct, the messaging feature in the main Instagram app disappears. If a user in one of those countries downloads Direct, their inbox from the main app goes away and is replaced by this new standalone app for private messaging with other Instagram users.

Like Snapchat, Direct opens up in the camera view, letting you quickly snap a picture of video and send it to someone. In other words, Direct represents yet another effort to replicate Snapchat and bring some of that service's features to Instagrammers (if Instagram decides to roll out Direct more broadly, that is).

Instagram Direct is now available only in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey and Uruguay. Thus, Facebook now has three individual messaging apps - WhatsApp, Messenger and Direct.

The app is now available in six countries, no word on whether it will be released globally but if all goes well most likely soon.

In anticipation of this, the Facebook-owned app has been trialling Shopping on Instagram over the previous year in the USA, and is planning on rolling out the feature to more countries in 2018. "We can push the boundaries to create the fastest and most creative space for private sharing when Direct is a camera-first, standalone app", an Instagram Program Manager told The Verge. Just like Snapchat, its default screen is your phone's front-facing viewfinder.

When described that way, Direct makes more sense. Opening the app, you will see camera similar to Snapchat.

Like its parent company Facebook, moving Direct out of its core app could turn out to be quite successful for Instagram in the long run. With a global release, a lot more filters would probably be added, and since Instagram has uses stickers and locations in stories, one would assume those would be included too. As of April 2017, Instagram Direct, still married to the Instagram app, had around 375 million active monthly users. If you anxious this new app would make private messaging complicated, this proves it won't.

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