It’s been seven years since the world was graced by Instagram, the photo sharing app that turned selfies into a natural form of self-expression. In a new report from The Verge, it looks like Instagram is about to undergo a pretty big expansion with the launch of a new, complimentary app. It’s called Instagram Direct and its functionality will seem plenty familiar to ‘grammers, as the new offering appears to be a standalone direct messaging app. So, how can you get Instagram Direct?
If you happen to live in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay, you’re in luck, as you can download Instagram Direct for both iOS and Android devices starting today. Even then, there’s no guarantee that folks stateside will get it, as Instagram Direct is still being launched as a test. There is no official word from Instagram or Facebook, its parent company, as to when or if Instagram will roll out globally.
That said, there’s already documentation on Instagram’s Help Center about how to use Instagram Direct. According to the site, Instagram Direct can be used to send messages to one or more people. Messages can include everything from text to photos and videos from your phone’s library as well as posts you see in your Instagram feed.
If this sounds awfully familiar, it should: Instagram appears to be taking the same dual-app approach to direct messaging just as Facebook did in 2011 when it introduced Messenger as a standalone app. It’s hard to believe it’s been six years since Facebook users were in an uproar at having to install a separate app just to send messages, given how ubiquitous and integrated it already feels.
Instagram Direct will likely face the same pushback from users, but I’m sure it won’t be long before we won’t even remember a time when Instagram used to just be a single app experience.
If Instagram Direct launches globally, will you download it? Sound off in the comments!