Instagram Tests Direct for a Stand-Alone Messaging App

Instagram Tests Direct for a Stand-Alone Messaging App

In its current, experimental state, there is little in Direct you won't now find in Instagram.

The new standalone app is reportedly just a test, for now, and will start rolling out today for iOS and Android users in six test countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay. The move follows a similar move parent company Facebook made back in 2014 where they separated its built-in messaging service into what's now Messenger.

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.

Focused on image sharing, Instagram Direct opens directly to the camera so sharing can be easier than ever before. When you launch it, you only have three screens: a settings section, an inbox to check out your messages, and the main screen where you can type in messages or send a photo or video to other users.

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The new app was first spotted by The Verge today.

Facebook now operates two of the world's most popular messaging apps in Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp that both have more than a billion active users.

In case, Instagram launched Direct globally, for which no current timeline has been given so far, Facebook would become an owner of the third famous messaging tool alongside WhatsApp and Messenger. If you don't live in those countries, you may have to wait a while for Direct to be available to you - but that doesn't mean you can't get excited about the more than likely inevitable global release (I hope!) by learning more about it.

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. Direct has grown within Instagram over the past four years, but we can make it even better if it stands on its own. But as long as Direct is a part of Instagram, expanding the platform would get increasingly hard for the company. To recall, Facebook forced users to install Messenger app to chat with friends. Swiping the app all the way to the right will bring up the main Instagram app. But the app now has over one billion monthly active users.

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