Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Instagram Is Testing A Direct Standalone Messaging App To Replace Inbox

Instagram Is Testing A Direct Standalone Messaging App To Replace Inbox

The challenge for Instagram would be to expand Direct at the same time maintaining its simplicity which is the most appealing factor of the app.

The new standalone app, also called Direct, is now being tested with users in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay.

According to The Verge, Instagram is playing with the idea of taking that last feature out of its main app and moving it to a standalone one by the name of "Direct". As The Verge reports, the rollout today is just a test, launching in only six countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay. Direct comes with three sections: the inbox, the camera and the profile screen. If users don't actually want to take a photo in the Direct app, they could simply swipe down from the top and start typing a message.

It would be the third messaging app owned by Facebook (joining Messenger and WhatsApp).

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While you can check out Instagram Direct's app page on Google Play, you will most likely not be able to download it quite yet. Instead, you'll have to DM your friends through Direct. Since Instagram is also positioning Direct as a camera-first app, it also comes with four exclusive filters which aren't available in the main Instagram app.

While having to use two apps to enjoy the full Instagram experience will undoubtedly upset many users, at least Instagram makes it easy to go back and forth.

By creating the standalone Direct app, Instagram is doing the same thing that Facebook did with Messenger. Now, it has grown to 1.3 billion users, as pointed out by Business Insider. 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.

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