Dec 7th, 2017

Instagram has been on a roll lately. After successfully imitating Snapchat Stories — to the tune of 300 million daily active users — Instagram is now ready for the next phase of complete Snapchat emulation: messaging.

There’s no question that sending direct messages inside of Instagram is basic at best. It was always more of an afterthought but after the world saw how popular direct messaging could be thanks to Snapchat, Instagram is now looking to take a shot. Taking a page out of Facebook’s playbook, Instagram Direct is a standalone messaging app that’s currently being tested in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay.

The problem? In order for Instagram to build out messaging on the platform, they first have separate it from the core app completely. According to Instagram, the reason for a separate messaging app — as opposed to a feature inside the main app — is that it allows them to really focus and more quickly build out new features when it’s a thing all its own.

It sounds an awful lot like what Facebook did with Messenger, although Instagram’s intentions aren’t quite as ambitious. Instagram says Direct is a “camera-first, standalone app,” so don’t expect the kitchen sink features you see in Messenger. At least not initially.

Once Instagram Direct is installed, the user’s inbox will disappear from the main app completely and is replaced by the standalone app. Everything works the same as before, with the ability to send text messages, photos, videos and of course, that disappearing media the kids love so much. Instagram Direct does get four exclusive filters, so it seems like this will help lighten up the load of the main Instagram app. With filters these days putting a greater focus on augmented reality and such, this could be a great way to keep Instagram from becoming too bloated.

Once Instagram Direct launches globally, Facebook will have 3 messaging apps to further their plans of complete world dominance — WhatsApp, Messenger, and now Instagram Direct. Snapchat has officially been put on notice.

via The Verge

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