Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Instagram tests standalone messaging app

Instagram tests standalone messaging app

The app will open up with the camera in a similar fashion to Snapchat, and installing the standalone Direct app will actually remove the Direct feature from the standard Instagram app. The only real downside is you'll have to install two apps to get the same functionality that's now present in one app. This could be just a test version, but it probably points to a move towards getting rid of direct messaging on the Instagram app altogether.

It's no secret that Facebook has its sights set on Snapchat, one of the social media giant's fiercest competitors.

When you install Direct, your direct messages will automatically disappear from the main Instagram app, and an animation will take you straight to the Direct inbox. While a standalone messaging app may not sound like a Snapchat rival at face value, it sure as hell is. It says messaging through Instagram can never be a full experience so long as it lives in another app. 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. "We can push the boundaries to create the fastest and most creative space for private sharing when Direct is a camera-first, standalone app", an Instagram Program Manager told The Verge.

When described that way, Direct makes more sense.

Direct, which now opens to the camera in a similar way as to how the other social media photo-based platform Snapchat does.

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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.

To date, Instagram Stories has been Facebook's most successful effort to replicate Snap's (NYSE:SNAP) Snapchat and its Stories feature.

Well, get ready for the sequel, as the same thing is about to happen with Instagram. A swipe down in this pane will reveal a text field with a gradient background in case you just wanna type something up for someone.

The Direct app is a bit barren at the moment. In third place is Chinese messaging app QQ Mobile.

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