Direct Is A New Standalone Messaging App From Instagram

Kevin Systrom

Instagram CEO Kevin

If you install this new Direct app then your Instagram inbox appears in this app and it can only be used in the direct app.

It's unclear if Instagram will bring Direct to other countries following its initial testing, but seeing how successful Facebook has been with Messenger after removing direct messaging from its core app, an expansion of Direct to other countries in the coming months wouldn't be all that surprising.

The Verge reports that Direct is being tested on both iOS and Android in six countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay.

In case, Instagram launched Direct globally, for which no current timeline has been given so far, Facebook would become an owner of the third famous messaging tool alongside WhatsApp and Messenger.

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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".

After starting out as a simple way for sharing photos with friends, family, and random followers, Instagram has grown into a fairly bloated app these days. Once these apps are separated, the same can be said about swiping to the right in the main Instagram app. Most of the features that are in the Direct app can already be found on the current Instagram app. When tapping on Direct from your home screen, you'll be greeted by a camera UI similar to what you'll find within Direct now.

"Camera-first", huh? That sure sounds a lot like Snapchat. 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. The inbox houses all of the user's received messages, while the profile screen lets users access the app's settings. Hopefully, the same thing doesn't happen to Instagram Direct.

Direct has some 375 million users as of April, which is one good reason for Facebook to want to turn it into a standalone app. Now it has over 1.3 billion.

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