Facebook Inc (FB) Testing Standalone Instagram Messaging App

Instagram is launching Direct, a standalone, messaging-focused app.

Direct by Instagram is now only available in select countries, namely Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay.

The app will open to a camera UI just like we have seen on Snapchat and if you install the Direct app, Your inbox from the original Instagram app will disappear.

Currently, only six countries have access to both the iOS and Android versions of the app, and the company has not provided a timeline for when it will be available for everyone to use.

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'Direct has grown within Instagram over the past four years, but we can make it even better if it stands on its own. On opening this app, the camera pane will open and emphasize users to create new content such as photos and videos for sharing.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has had so much success with its namesake Messenger app that it's about to pull the same rabbit out of its hat with Instagram. The new Direct app will have a structure that is similar to Snapchat.

The Direct app is now a pretty barebones experience with only 3 screens that enable messaging, managing your account and navigating conversations. If you do want to send photos, though, it's a fun experience - right now, there are four different filters on the test app. Now Facebook owned company, Instagram is working on a standalone app that will allow its users to communicate with their Instagram friends.

However, the competition for internet messaging apps is huge in the market and Instagram is using a different approach to its Direct app. Instagram said this is only a test run, but it falls in line with what parent company Facebook did when messaging was shut off on the social media site and transitioned over to Messenger in 2014. Few have impacted Instagram's core functionality - the editing and uploading tools remain untouched, for the most part - but Facebook's reportedly considering far more drastic changes in the near future. The new app from the Instagram developers will let its users create and share stories, as well as access some new and exclusive filters. Similar to this, on swiping left from the Direct's inbox, users can come to Instagram.

  • Toni Ryan