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07 December 2017, 07:38 | Cameron Gross
Instagram Direct is Becoming its Own App
Instagram has reportedly yet to attach a time frame for separating Direct Messages from its popular mobile app, though that appears to be a long-term goal for the company and one that's expected to be achieved at some point in 2018.
Direct is now available for download as part of a test for Android and iOS in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay, and the reason for this move is to get more people using Instagram's direct messaging service while letting the core Instagram app be a place to share your photos and videos with the entire world. The firm has yet to officially announce the test and the reasoning behind it, though its motivation is likely similar to that Facebook had for spinning off Messenger, with the Menlo Park-based company previously claiming it made a decision to split the omnipresent social media service into two so that it's able to simultaneously focus on delivering a premium messaging and social media experience.
The reason for the split is the notion that private messaging does not fit comfortably within an app which is designed for broadcasting images and messages publicly.
Instagram has not announced how long the tests will last and when it expects Direct to be rolled out to the rest of the world. For starters, it's another big step in Instagram's metamorphosis from photo sharing site, to broader social networking platform. And you don't have to send photos; you can also just send your a message through the app. You can even go further and swipe to the right once more to open Instagram. Instead, you'll have to DM your friends through Direct.
The Direct app also comes with a feature that lets users switch to the main Instagram app.
Facebook Messenger has groomed and expanded its messaging experience by incorporating functions like games, video chatting, payments and much more. Hopefully, the same thing doesn't happen to Instagram Direct. Now, it has grown to 1.3 billion users, as pointed out by Business Insider. Thus, Facebook now has three individual messaging apps - WhatsApp, Messenger and Direct.
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