Instagram tests standalone messaging app

Instagram tests standalone messaging app called Direct

Once installed on your Android or iOS device, the inbox disappears from the main [Instagram] app and can only be accessed from the messaging app.

Instagram releases Direct, a standalone messaging app.

"We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is an important part of that", Hemal Shah, an Instagram product manager, told The Verge's Casey Newton.

Direct, at its core, is Facebook's attempt to excise direct messaging from the core Instagram experience.

Google Maps users in India now get motorcyle mode
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According to a new report from The Verge, the Facebook-owned company today confirmed it is testing Direct, "a camera-first app that connects seamlessly back to Instagram", in six countries - Turkey, Italy, Israel, Portugal, Chile, and Uruguay. 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.

The photo sharing app also expects video to continue to grow on its platform, as mobile devices are expected to account for 72 per cent of all online video viewing by 2019. "We can push the boundaries to create the fastest and most creative space for private sharing when Direct is a camera-first, standalone app".

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. You can take a photo or video with the front and rear cameras, apply face filters and masks, and even write text. The firm has yet to officially announce the test and the reasoning behind it, though its motivation is likely similar to that Facebook had for spinning off Messenger, with the Menlo Park-based company previously claiming it made a decision to split the omnipresent social media service into two so that it's able to simultaneously focus on delivering a premium messaging and social media experience. Never mind others but Facebook itself right now has Messenger as well as WhatsApp and now we have Direct.

This test sounds a lot like what Facebook did with Messenger over the last few years. But it remains to be seen if the launch of Direct will rile up Instagram users the same way.

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