Direct Is A New Standalone Messaging App From Instagram

Instagram may be following Facebook in pushing private messaging into a standalone app

Instagram to Cut Messaging from App

Instagram has reportedly yet to attach a time frame for separating Direct Messages from its popular mobile app, though that appears to be a long-term goal for the company and one that's expected to be achieved at some point in 2018.

Today, Instagram Direct, Instagram's in-app messaging service, is being tested as a standalone app, and moving out of the main Instagram app for those who download the new one. Installing Direct app will remove the message section from the Instagram app.

The Direct app is only being tested in the aforesaid six countries and Instagram could release it globally in the future.

"We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is an important part of that", Hemal Shah, an Instagram product manager, told the Verge. "Direct has grown within Instagram over the past four years, but we can make it even better if it stands on its own". And you don't have to send photos; you can also just send your a message through the app. As of April 2017, Instagram Direct, still married to the Instagram app, had around 375 million active monthly users.

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It's unclear if Instagram will bring Direct to other countries following its initial testing, but seeing how successful Facebook has been with Messenger after removing direct messaging from its core app, an expansion of Direct to other countries in the coming months wouldn't be all that surprising.

It would be the third messaging app owned by Facebook (joining Messenger and WhatsApp). All you have to do is swipe left once you are in the Direct inbox to reveal Instagram icon which will direct you to the Instagram app. When that happens, users can keep swiping right to open the main Instagram app. Otherwise, I wouldn't expect a lot of users to use the app.

By creating the standalone Direct app, Instagram is doing the same thing that Facebook did with Messenger. Now it has over 1.3 billion.

The move is similar to what Facebook did with its private messaging feature in 2014.

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