Instagram continues its attack on Snapchat with disappearing messages

On Tuesday, Instagram announced an update to improve the app's Direct messaging feature. Tap to view them and you can replay them once. Now, Instagram is adding some features you're probably familiar with from Snapchat-you can send images and videos that self-destruct after being viewed. Instagram says that Direct is now up to 375 million monthly users, up from just 300 million in November. In addition, Direct is getting an update that merges the sections containing normal messages and ephemeral ones, with the goal of making it easier for you to communicate with friends and keep track of all your conversations.

Instagram just combined its Snap-like temporary messages with permanent DMs in its Direct inbox. Many have argued that Facebook has been blatantly stealing functions that were popular and celebrated on Snapchat and then placing them on Facebook-owned apps including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook.com.

"In a statement on Instagram's blog, "We want to make Direct the best place to have fun, visual conversations with your friends", Instagram said in a blog post on Tuesday".

The new Instagram Direct Tab will combine texts and reshares that you send along with disappearing photos and videos. These new features employ the same disappearing photo and video mechanism that Snapchat became famous for. Those photos and videos showing up at the top of the feed as a bubble you could tap, basically the same as Instagram's stories.

Instagram previously displayed permanent messages and ephemeral messages in two separate spots inside Instagram Direct. The new update allowed for text conversations to appear on the same page as disappearing videos and photos. Regardless, Snap Inc. stock hasn't been doing so hot in recent days, and many blame (or maybe thank) Instagram's new features for it.

  • Fernando Stephens