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Instagram Is Testing A Direct Standalone Messaging App To Replace Inbox
07 December 2017, 08:07 | Jodi Jackson
Instagram may be following Facebook in pushing private messaging into a standalone app
The Direct messaging system that was upgraded to replicate Snapchat functionality just earlier this year may become a standalone app supposed to offer you a Snapchat like chatting system that won't interfere with the main goal of Instagram.
The Verge reports Instagram is now testing Direct in five countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay. The Verge appears to confirm that scenario, citing Instagram Product Manager Hemal Shah as saying that the ephemeral nature of Direct Messages is a better fit for a standalone app than an attachment to a completely public social media platform.
The Verge reports that Direct is being tested on both iOS and Android in six countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay. Swipe right from the Camera screen, and you will find the Messages inbox, whereas swiping left will bring you to the various app settings. Direct is a new Instagram companion app to send and receive messages. Instead, you'll have to DM your friends through Direct.
Direct would be separate from Instagram's main application and is similar to how Messenger was divided from the Facebook app. As of April 2017, Instagram Direct, still married to the Instagram app, had around 375 million active monthly users. Overall, the Direct app works pretty much like Snapchat, which isn't a surprise since Facebook and Instagram have been copying for some time now. When that happens, users can keep swiping right to open the main Instagram app.
By creating the standalone Direct app, Instagram is doing the same thing that Facebook did with Messenger.
While having to use two apps to enjoy the full Instagram experience will undoubtedly upset many users, at least Instagram makes it easy to go back and forth. Now, it has grown to 1.3 billion users, as pointed out by Business Insider.
The move is similar to what Facebook did with its private messaging feature in 2014.
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