Instagram may be releasing an app just for messaging, and it would drastically change things
Sliding into someone’s DMs might become an entirely different ballgame. On December 7th, Instagram released a new messaging app to users in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay. The company is currently testing Direct, an app separate from Instagram that would move direct messaging to a completely different platform.
According to The Verge, downloading the Direct app removes the messaging feature and inbox from a user’s Instagram account. Think of Direct as Instagram’s version of Facebook Messenger with a Snapchat twist. The Direct app opens to the camera, similar to Snapchat.
As of April 2017, Instagram’s direct messenger feature has garnered 375 million monthly users since its 2013 release, The Verge reports. But even with numbers on their side, Instagram has yet to set a date to release the Direct app worldwide.
Like Snapchat, Direct has three screens users can swipe through — the camera, a profile screen, and an inbox. The camera screen also allows users to swipe down in order to type a message rather than send a photo.
There are also four exclusive filters within the app for Direct users to play with.
The downside to Direct is that users now have to switch back and forth between two apps to get the full Instagram experience. Others worry that the photo-sharing app is trying to do too many things and will soon start losing users who cannot keep up with all the features. Tech companies are currently functioning under the idea that “more is better,” which isn’t always the case.
As mentioned, Instagram has no plans to release Direct on a global scale yet. But keep your eyes peeled in the weeks and months to come.