The rise of Instagram has been incredible. The platform, owned by Facebook, has taken social media by storm. The success of the brand is due to its visual component and easy accessibility. This, along with their Instagram Stories feature, has allowed for Instagram to become as widely successful as it has. Now, Instagram wants to add a standalone Instagram messaging app into the mix, which creates a new channel for users and advertising.
Instagram confirmed to Quartz that it was indeed testing a new app. The app is called Direct, and it will be for direct-messaging only, allowing it to be separated from the main Instagram app. “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,” a representative added.
If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because it is. Facebook did something similar with their Messenger app. If you use Facebook on your phone, you now have to have the Messenger app downloaded in order to chat with someone in private. The app now sells over 1 billion users monthly and is in the process of testing ads in Messenger as well.
Features of Direct
During the testing phase, Direct is looking a bit like Snapchat. It has become known that Instagram has based a lot of its features from what Snapchat has done or was trying to do. Just like Snapchat, the Stories and Discover tabs will be located in the new app, specifically at the top. Other features include; the app opening to the camera, people swiping to see their inbox of private messages, sending photos and videos that feature augmented-reality filters and illustrations and they can opt to send text messages instead.
It’s unknown when the new Direct app will officially release. One thing to note, however, is that when it does, it will add another platform to place advertising into. This creates a new stream of marketing to showcase your products or services.
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