Deja vu: Facebook might split Instagram messaging into a separate app

Kevin Systrom

Similarly, if you swipe right in the main Instagram app you will be sent to the Direct app.

As per reports, Instagram is busy with the making of a stand-alone messaging app.

Instagram is testing a new standalone messaging app, called Direct, The Verge reported today (Dec. 7).

A spokesperson for Instagram says, "We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is a big part of that". And swiping left will reveal your recent chats (Direct Inbox) similar to what you see now in your Instagram app. In other words, Direct represents yet another effort to replicate Snapchat and bring some of that service's features to Instagrammers (if Instagram decides to roll out Direct more broadly, that is). Never mind others but Facebook itself right now has Messenger as well as WhatsApp and now we have Direct.

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If Instagram's inbox is still available inside your Instagram app that's because the Direct standalone app launched only in certain markets, including Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay. If you don't live in those countries, you may have to wait a while for Direct to be available to you - but that doesn't mean you can't get excited about the more than likely inevitable global release (I hope!) by learning more about it. Direct also ships with four exclusive filters and is ultimately seeking to grow its user base even more by providing people with a more focused experience, albeit one that's still deeply integrated into Instagram.

Personally, I don't mind Direct much.

Just like Facebook siloed Messenger as a separate app in 2014, Instagram is now testing a standalone messaging app in smaller markets outside of the United States. Also, the new app just seems really cool. Instagram did not originally have private messaging at all when it first launched in 2010, and the platform still lacked messaging all the way up to the end of 2013, when the feature was added as a way to keep up with Snapchat.

Direct, which now opens to the camera in a similar way as to how the other social media photo-based platform Snapchat does. On the Direct app, you can swipe right to transition to Instagram.

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