Direct is now available for download as part of a test for Android and iOS in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay, and the reason for this move is to get more people using Instagram's direct messaging service while letting the core Instagram app be a place to share your photos and videos with the entire world. The move would mirror the actions of its parent company Facebook, which removed messaging from the core Facebook app in 2014 and replaced the feature with the standalone Facebook Messenger app.
Of course, this all sounds fine and dandy, but some users will likely not appreciate Instagram forcing users to download a second app just to message their friends. It's fast, visual and super fun.
The Direct app will be available in Israel, Italy, Chile, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay starting today both on Android and iOS. Most of the features that are in the Direct app can already be found on the current Instagram app. For starters, it's another big step in Instagram's metamorphosis from photo sharing site, to broader social networking platform. You'll have the option of taking either a photo or video and adding your own effects and filters, with some even being exclusive to the app including a superimposing mouth and censor bleeps at random times. While the app is more oriented toward sharing images, swiping up on the camera interface will also allow you to send regular text messages to individuals or groups.
The Direct app's inbox can be accessed by swiping to the right, while the profile section can be accessed by swiping to the left. Once these apps are separated, the same can be said about swiping to the right in the main Instagram app.
Well, get ready for the sequel, as the same thing is about to happen with Instagram. When Messenger became a standalone app, it started with around 500 million users. Remember, users went on a similar outrage when Facebook introduced a dedicated messaging app for its platform.