Instagram has started testing a new standalone instant messaging app. its name is Direct and will likely replace the messaging features in the core app in the same way Messenger did in Facebook.
The application is now available on Android and iOS in six countries: Chile, Uruguay, Italy, Israel, Portugal and Turkey.
When you access Direct app, you will find a camera screen (yes, same as Snapchat) that invites you to share moments and photos. If you slide your finger to the right you will see the settings screen and if you slide it to the left you will see your inbox.
Although it is officially only as a test, Instagram’s rationale for building Direct app is that private messaging can never be a best-in-class experience when it lives inside an app meant for broadcasting publicly.
“We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is an important part of that,” Hemal Shah, an Instagram product manager, told Verge.com.
“Direct has grown within Instagram over the past four years, but we can make it even better if it stands on its own. We can push the boundaries to create the fastest and most creative space for private sharing when Direct is a camera-first, standalone app.”