Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Technology | By Russell Knight

Instagram is testing a standalone app for direct messaging

Instagram is testing a standalone app for direct messaging

And it looks like Instagram is back on its bullshit with a new standalone messaging app.

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. "We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is an important part of that". Installing Direct will give you access to exclusive filters, and the usual Instagram features like Boomerang.

Instagram also added "face filters" over the summer.

Swiping left from this page will take you to the Account and Settings page.

In case, Instagram launched Direct globally, for which no current timeline has been given so far, Facebook would become an owner of the third famous messaging tool alongside WhatsApp and Messenger.

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The app is now available today in six countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay, on both, iOS and Android.

Instagram is testing the new standalone app in only a handful of countries right now and there is no word on when a global launch will happen.

In anticipation of this, the Facebook-owned app has been trialling Shopping on Instagram over the a year ago in the U.S., and is planning on rolling out the feature to more countries in 2018. "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".

Personally, I don't mind Direct much.

It's as if having three Instagram apps on your phone wasn't already enough.

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Dubbed Direct, the experimental app opens in camera mode - just like Snapchat.

Switching over to a standalone messaging app would be similar to what parent company Facebook accomplished in 2014, forcing users to download another app to send messages to friends.

The first thing you'll notice in the app is the camera UI.

To date, Instagram Stories has been Facebook's most successful effort to replicate Snap's (NYSE:SNAP) Snapchat and its Stories feature. If you anxious this new app would make private messaging complicated, this proves it won't. As of April 2017, Instagram Direct, still married to the Instagram app, had around 375 million active monthly users.

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