Now testing - Instagram Direct standalone app; Global launch next year

Instagram Direct could soon join it's Instant Messaging brothers as the company is reportedly testing a standalone version, akin to Messenger!

Mohammad Kanchwala
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Instagram Direct

Well, it’s Instagram Direct that could soon join the Instant Messaging brothers with the company reportedly testing a standalone version.

Instagram Direct is being separated from the core Instagram platform to give it a more personal and private touch, and surprise surprise, the interface is being reported to appear like a certain similar platform that has the name Snap and Chat in it.

“Direct, which opens to the camera in the same way Snapchat does, will become available on Android and iOS today in six countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay.” reported The Verge, who spotted it first report.

Instagram Direct Source

This is what Instagram had to say about the new developments, “We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is a big part of that. To make it easier and more fun for people to connect in this way, we are beginning to test Direct – a camera-first app that connects seamlessly back to Instagram.” as reported by TechCrunch.

Instagram Direct Source

Some would argue about this not being a good idea, and that Instagram’s core user base, the younger demographic, are not very patient people who would prefer to use two separate apps. Although Facebook holds some expertise in this area, having forced Messenger upon Facebook users years ago, and also successfully pushing it to beyond a billion!

Now Messenger is a standalone as well as a complementary messaging platform for Facebook, and it has games, bots, money transfers and it’s very own version of Facebook paramount obsession, Stories.

The need to push for Instagram Direct as a separate platform might have something to do with yet another attack on Snapchat, trying to snatch away whatever little it has left.

Instagram Direct Source

Jordan Crook from TechCrunch writes, “The launch of Instagram Direct, with its perception of more private and intimate one-to-one conversations, could feasibly have the same effect on Snapchat’s direct messaging.”

Instagram Direct has a total of 375Mn users, which is somewhere around half of Instagram’s total user base of 800Mn.

The company has made a number of changes and updates to Instagram Direct, hoping to enhance user adoption.

The Verge reports Mark Zuckerberg’s quote from back when Facebook launched Messenger, “On mobile, each app can only focus on doing one thing well. Asking folks to install another app is a short term painful thing, but if we wanted to focus on serving this well, we had to build a dedicated and focused experience.”

Casey Newton from The Verge rates the Instagram Direct test app highly, calling it “the niftiest app transitions I’ve ever seen.”

Adding further, Casey says “In its current, experimental state, there is little in Direct you won’t currently find in Instagram. The app consists of just three screens. Like Snapchat, it opens to the camera, in an effort to get you in the habit of regularly sharing. (You don’t have to take a photo, though; you can also pull down to reveal a screen that lets you type your message.) To the left of the camera is a profile screen that lets you access settings, switch accounts, and navigate to various corners of Instagram. To the right is your inbox of messages. That’s the whole app.”

Featured Image Source : TechCrunch and The Verge

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