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Instagram to replace private messaging with ‘Direct’ standalone app

The move is similar to what Facebook did with its private messaging feature in 2014.

tech Updated: Dec 08, 2017 11:31 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Reuters
Instagram,Login Instagram,Instagram Followers
Instagram users may be unable to send direct messages on the platform in the future. (Reuters)

Facebook-owned Instagram on Thursday said it was testing a standalone messaging application, called Direct. The application will be Facebook’s third standalone messaging application after WhatsApp and Messenger.

The move is similar to what Facebook did with its private messaging feature in 2014.

“With hundreds of millions of people using Instagram Direct, today we’re announcing a test of a standalone Direct app. It’s fast, visual and super fun. Only in six countries to start but can’t wait for you all to try it.” Instagram’s vice president of product, Kevin Weil, said in a tweet.

The Instagram Direct app will be available starting Thursday on Android and iOS in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay, according to technology news website the Verge.

“Direct has grown within Instagram over the past four years, but we can make it even better if it stands on its own. We can push the boundaries to create the fastest and most creative space for private sharing when Direct is a camera-first, standalone app.” Hemal Shah, an Instagram product manager told The Verge.

That said, it’s not the first time Facebook has made a feature on Instagram available as a standalone application. The company already offers Boomerang that allows users to create short videos and GIFs.

TechCrunch speculates that the separate Direct app could be Facebook’s another effort to steal Snapchat’s thunder. Ever since Instagram introduced Stories feature, Snapchat has suffered a big dip in its terms usage of its Stories. A Direct app could further dent Snapchat’s other popular feature, direct messaging.

First Published: Dec 08, 2017 11:30 IST