Direct Is A New Standalone Messaging App From Instagram

Direct Is A New Standalone Messaging App From Instagram

After starting out as a simple way for sharing photos with friends, family, and random followers, Instagram has grown into a fairly bloated app these days.

The Verge reports Instagram is now testing Direct in five countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay. When users install Direct, the inbox from the main Instagram app will disappear. Direct is going to be available both on Android and iPhone in these test markets.

"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 me. When you open Direct, it goes straight to the camera - perhaps in an effort to condition you into creating and sharing content.

The service essentially takes the main Instagram app's messaging features and packs them into a separate experience, which will seamlessly communicate with the main, feed-oriented app.

Instagram is planning to split the private messaging feature from its app and to offer a standalone messaging app called Direct instead, according to a report in The Verge.

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The thing that stands out the most is the camera, which is the first thing that will greet users when they open the Direct app. The app itself sounds pretty barebones, but the transition Instagram's built between the two sounds incredibly sleek. One can access the profile and settings, and can also view and send texts to other users on Instagram.

The Direct app also comes with a feature that lets users switch to the main Instagram app.

Facebook Messenger, which started its journey with 500 million users and a wave of 1-star reviews, now sits at 1.3 billion users, and ratings have improved up to a 3-star average.

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.

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