Six different countries are going to be seeing something a bit different on Instagram, as the company experiments with separating out the messaging part of its service into its own app, called Direct.
Over the past year, that included relaunching Direct - still with the Instagram app - to include permanent and disappearing messages in one thread.
"We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is an important part of that", Shah told The Verge.
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The Direct app will be available in Israel, Italy, Chile, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay starting today both on Android and iOS. 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.
Instagram believes that messaging experiences are best delivered via a stand-alone app instead of within a larger app, mostly echoing CEO Mark Zuckerberg's sentiments from a few years back that "there's a big premium on creating single-purpose, first-class experiences" in mobile. And knowing Facebook, Direct will probably follow the same route. 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. Apparently if you keep swiping left from your inbox, you see the Instagram logo and are then sent to the Instagram app. However, unlike Messenger, which always had the potential to be a full fledged messaging app, Instagram Direct only really works or is relevant within the realm of Instagram and becomes largely irrelevant 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, stand-alone app".
The app consists of three screens.
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The first thing you'll notice in the app is the camera UI. The only real downside is you'll have to install two apps to get the same functionality that's now present in one app.
In its current, experimental state, there is little in Direct you won't now find in Instagram.
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