Facebook Testing Out Direct, a Standalone Messaging Application for Instagram

Instagram tests standalone messaging app called Direct

It'll pull out the direct-messaging part of the main app into a separate app, which will just let you send photos, videos, or text messages to your Instagram contacts.

Today, Instagram Direct, Instagram's in-app messaging service, is being tested as a standalone app, and moving out of the main Instagram app for those who download the new one.

Installing the Direct app will remove the inbox feature from Instagram, The Verge reports.

Instagram Direct is now available only in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey and Uruguay. "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. Swiping down from this screen shows your messages, very much like the opposite of Facebook Messenger when the camera was accessed with a swipe from the top. Kevin Weil, vice president of product at Instagram, said in a tweet that although Instagram Direct is only rolling out to these six countries at first, Instagram also "can't wait for you all to try it". Apparently if you keep swiping left from your inbox, you see the Instagram logo and are then sent to the Instagram app. Like Snapchat, it opens to the camera, in an effort to get you in the habit of regularly sharing.

Instagram confirmed it was testing a new app to Quartz.

Instagram is one of the most popular social media networks on the planet.

The coolest thing about Direct is that it's so easy to transition from Instagram to Direct.

When users open the app, a camera will open that is identical to Instagram's, but with four new exclusive filters. The success of Messenger after its separation from Facebook shows it can be done, and could be boosted if Instagram adds different aspects to the app to keep it interesting. In third place is Chinese messaging app QQ Mobile.

It's as if having three Instagram apps on your phone wasn't already enough. With Stories moved to Direct, it could either help increase the user base of Direct or make people stop using the feature and the app entirely.

Direct would be separate from Instagram's main application and is similar to how Messenger was divided from the Facebook app.

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