Instagram Tests Direct for a Stand-Alone Messaging App

The Messenger move generated pretty severe backlash at first, to be fair, mostly from Facebook users who didn't want to install a separate app to access their messages and chats. It looks exactly like Direct does on Instagram already so you shouldn't experience a learning curve here, either. Creators came up with it because they feel that it's hard to have a great private messaging experience in the same app that allows you to publicly broadcast messages. The app, which will be made available starting on Thursday to Android and iOS users, could eventually replace the messaging tools built into Instagram and create another way to communicate through mobile apps.

Dubbed Direct, the experimental app opens in camera mode - just like Snapchat. You will be happy to know that for the new app, Instagram includes four new filters including one that censors your speech when you least expect it, and another that superimposes your mouth over your mouth (yes, it is as odd as it sounds). It's a brand new app that connects to your Instagram profile and is strictly about direct messaging.

Further mirroring Snapchat, Facebook also began inviting Messenger users to add animated reactions, filters, masks and other effects to their video chats, earlier this year. As The Verge reports, the rollout today is just a test, launching in only six countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay.

In anticipation of this, the Facebook-owned app has been trialling Shopping on Instagram over the a year ago in the United States, and is planning on rolling out the feature to more countries in 2018.

Well, get ready for the sequel, as the same thing is about to happen with Instagram.

Swiping left from this page will take you to the Account and Settings page. Swiping right from the Messages screen in Direct brings you directly to the main Instagram app. "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".

In March 2017, Facebook introduced Facebook Stories along with two other new Snapchat-like features - Facebook Camera and Direct.

  • Joe Gonzales