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08 December 2017, 01:59 | Gina Pena
Instagram may be following Facebook in pushing private messaging into a standalone app
Essentially, the new Instagram Direct app is a camera-centric messenger aimed at making the messaging experience richer.
Instagram is testing the new standalone app in only a handful of countries right now and there is no word on when a global launch will happen.
Direct is super similar to Facebook Messenger, which shouldn't be particularly surprising - since Facebook took over Instagram, more and more similarities have been popping up between the two.
The app will let you create and share stories, and give you access to exclusive filters, Boomerang and other creative tools on Instagram. Swiping again to the left will even present you with the main Instagram app.
The idea behind Instagram moving its direct messaging product out of the core app makes a lot of sense.
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And although Apple's services business is growing, it doesn't have much overlap with the core offerings of Google and Amazon. The former uses search and other web services to sell ads, while the latter is an online retailer of goods and services.
"We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is a big part of that", said a company spokeswoman.
It's as if having three Instagram apps on your phone wasn't already enough. As it stands, only a few markets have this new app Direct rolled out while Instagram continues to experiment.
Direct, which now opens to the camera in a similar way as to how the other social media photo-based platform Snapchat does. Instagram did not originally have private messaging at all when it first launched in 2010, and the platform still lacked messaging all the way up to the end of 2013, when the feature was added as a way to keep up with Snapchat. If you anxious this new app would make private messaging complicated, this proves it won't.
It's unclear whether Direct will fully replace the Instagram inbox.
The challenge for Instagram would be to expand Direct at the same time maintaining its simplicity which is the most appealing factor of the app.
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