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emfizz.com December 16, 2017


Instagram Direct is Becoming its Own App

08 December 2017, 12:57 | Bernard Bryant

Instagram CEO Kevin

Kevin Systrom

Instagram is now testing Direct, a new messaging app that was previously a part of the main Instagram app.

Direct launches in six countries - Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay- today.

Over the past year, that included relaunching Direct - still with the Instagram app - to include permanent and disappearing messages in one thread.

Facebook made the controversial decision back in 2014 to remove private messaging from the main app, moving it instead into Facebook Messenger.

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Focused on image sharing, Instagram Direct opens directly to the camera so sharing can be easier than ever before. These are still three different markets and Facebook might just be hoping it stays that way but there is a certain amount of fatigue that sets in simply knowing you now have to deal with so many messaging apps and eventually people pick one or the other. Direct also has four exclusive photo and video filters that are not now in the main Instagram app, including a amusing one that randomly bleeps your voice and covers up your mouth. Hopefully this ease will be enough to appease most users.

In the past few years, WhatsApp has remained a relatively unchanged, bare-bones messaging app, while Messenger has become much more, transforming into a platform of its own: Bots, payment options, phone calls, and even games have now found a home in Messenger. Now it has over 1.3 billion.

Instagram added private messaging to its app in 2013. Judging by Messenger's success, we can only guess that if and when Instagram rolls Direct out worldwide, it too could enjoy the massive popularity that being standalone has been proven to bring. From there, you've got one-tap access to Instagram's face filters (including four exclusive ones) and a pull-down menu that lets you type messages. But as long as Direct is a part of Instagram, expanding the platform would get increasingly hard for the company.

Speaking to The Verge, Instagram product manager Hemal Shah said: "We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is an important part of that". Whether that happens later or not remains to be seen but it makes sense for it to be within the messaging app. Otherwise, I wouldn't expect a lot of users to use the app.



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