Direct Is A New Standalone Messaging App From Instagram

Yolanda Curtis
December 7, 2017

Instagram is testing a standalone app called Direct, which will serve as an app for private messages.

The Verge reports Instagram is now testing Direct in five countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay.

Instagram Direct opens to the camera viewfinder like Snapchat upon launching it, but you can also choose to swipe down to type out a text-based message.

Instagram is preparing to soft-launch an Android app Direct, spinning off its Direct Messages into a standalone offering, The Verge reported Thursday. The company believes that its current messaging feature could never deliver the best experience if its baked inside an app that prioritizes sharing photos and videos publicly.

"We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is an important part of that", Instagram product manager Hemal Shah said.

The app consists of three screens.

"Camera-first", huh? That sure sounds a lot like Snapchat. As of April 2017, Instagram Direct, still married to the Instagram app, had around 375 million active monthly users.

While you can check out Instagram Direct's app page on Google Play, you will most likely not be able to download it quite yet.

Instagram is using the same argument as Facebook did in 2014 to justify a standalone app. When users start swiping to the right while they're already in the Direct inbox, an Instagram logo will pop up.

Well, get ready for the sequel, as the same thing is about to happen with Instagram.

Instagram is beginning to test a dedicated app that will bring its Direct messaging service right to your home screen, according to a new report out of The Verge.

WhatsApp is the most popular, followed closely by Facebook Messenger. Now it has over 1.3 billion. The firm has yet to officially announce the test and the reasoning behind it, though its motivation is likely similar to that Facebook had for spinning off Messenger, with the Menlo Park-based company previously claiming it made a decision to split the omnipresent social media service into two so that it's able to simultaneously focus on delivering a premium messaging and social media experience.

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