You might be familiar with Instagram’s direct feature. It lets you send private messages to your followers and friends within the Instagram app. Now, the company is reportedly testing a standalone app for this functionality. The new separate messaging app from the Instagram is known as Direct and it is now being tested by the developers and beta testers across the world.
The app is currently available today in six countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay, on both, iOS and Android. There currently is no timeline for when this app will be available everywhere, if at all.
Direct messaging has been part of Instagram for a few years now but initially was extremely basic. The feature saw a big boost in functionality and user base after the launch of the Instagram Stories feature. It must be noted that Stories doesn’t seem to be shifting over to Direct, at least not based on current screenshots. Whether that happens later or not remains to be seen but it makes sense for it to be within the messaging app. On the other hand, a huge reason Instagram Stories took off in the first place is because it was tacked on top, front and center, of an already popular app and there was no way for the user to opt out. 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.