Popular photo sharing app, Instagram is currently testing out a standalone app for private messages called Direct. This seems to be the first step toward possibly toward removing messaging features from the core app.
Information on Direct
The app is similar to Snapchat. For an instance, it opens directly to the camera. Available for both Android and iOS, the app has been first released to only six countries. These countries are Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay. Similar to Messenger, once you install the app you can not use the messaging feature from Instagram and only through the messaging app. If Instagram introduces Direct globally — it currently has no timeline for doing so — the move could give parent company Facebook a third popular messaging tool alongside Messenger and WhatsApp.
Hemal Shah, an Instagram product manager had the following to say to The Verge.
“We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is an important part of that. 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.”
The app has three sections. One is the camera it opens to. On the left is a profile screen that lets you access settings, switch accounts, and navigate to various corners of Instagram. To the right is your inbox of messages. That’s the whole app. When you swipe all the way to the right, the app takes you back to Instagram in what is a nifty transition. Similarly, you can swipe right on Instagram to reveal the Direct logo. On completing your swipe, you will take you back to Direct.