Instagram Tests Direct for a Stand-Alone Messaging App

Kevin Systrom

Instagram CEO Kevin

If you're a heavy Instagram user, you've probably noticed lots of small changes, new features, and A/B tests that mimic Snapchat's most popular features, such as a revamped direct messaging feature, face filters for stories, cartoony messaging stickers, and more.

Instagram is now testing Direct, a new messaging app that was previously a part of the main Instagram app. And if you swipe right in the same fashion within Instagram, you'll see the Direct logo and you'll jump into the Direct app.

According to The Verge, the reason for making this application is that Instagram believes that messaging is something that needs a separate platform to shine, its charm diminishes when attached to something else. It will also serve as a big plus for Facebook; a company already basking in the success of its Messaging apps-Messenger and WhatsApp. This offered package is much better than the previous one, Facebook Chat.

The Direct app will be available in Israel, Italy, Chile, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay starting today both on Android and iOS. For those who choose to install it, the inbox disappears from the main app ...


The Direct app is a bit barren at the moment. Instagram did not originally have private messaging at all when it first launched in 2010, and the platform still lacked messaging all the way up to the end of 2013, when the feature was added as a way to keep up with Snapchat. This is the same path that Facebook took with Messenger a few years back, and considering Facebook owns Instagram, the move isn't completely out of left field.

In August 2016, Instagram released a near-perfect copy of Snapchat Stories, in the form of Instagram Stories. If you anxious this new app would make private messaging complicated, this proves it won't.

The only specifics we have, if you can even call them specifics, is that the app will launch globally next year after Instagram has worked out the bugs and responded to user feedback. "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.

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