Instagram to Cut Messaging from App

Kevin Systrom

Instagram CEO Kevin

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. And knowing Facebook, Direct will probably follow the same route. Swiping right from the Messages screen in Direct brings you directly to the main Instagram app.

The thought of being required to download a new app in order to DM via Instagram might sound unnecessary - however, you might want to give this one a chance. And if you swipe right in the same fashion within Instagram, you'll see the Direct logo and you'll jump into the Direct app. Also important to note that installing Direct will remove the inbox feature from your Instagram. And, of course, your Instagram friends are added instantly to the Instagram Direct app.

The reason for the split is the notion that private messaging does not fit comfortably within an app which is designed for broadcasting images and messages publicly.

The only specifics we have, if you can even call them specifics, is that the app will launch globally next year after Instagram has worked out the bugs and responded to user feedback.

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'We can push the boundaries to create the fastest and most creative space for private sharing when Direct is a camera-first, standalone app'. These are still three different markets and Facebook might just be hoping it stays that way but there is a certain amount of fatigue that sets in simply knowing you now have to deal with so many messaging apps and eventually people pick one or the other.

Interestingly, Instagram is also including a quick way to switch between the Direct app and Instagram proper. Direct opens to the camera, just like Snapchat, and lets you slap some fun filters on your face before firing off a photo to your friends.

To date, Instagram Stories has been Facebook's most successful effort to replicate Snap's (NYSE:SNAP) Snapchat and its Stories feature. In third place is Chinese messaging app QQ Mobile. As of April 2017, Instagram Direct, still married to the Instagram app, had around 375 million active monthly users.

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