Deja vu: Facebook might split Instagram messaging into a separate app

08 December, 2017, 01:35 | Author: Lorena Waters
  • Instagram

When you launch it, you only have three screens: a settings section, an inbox to check out your messages, and the main screen where you can type in messages or send a photo or video to other users.

By April of this year, Direct had surpassed 375 million users more than half of Instagram's global community of roughly 600 million users. 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.

Switching over to a standalone messaging app would be similar to what parent company Facebook accomplished in 2014, forcing users to download another app to send messages to friends. The app that's been rumored since early 2017 is said to become available in six test markets on both Android and iOS starting later today, with Instagram reportedly bringing it to Italy, Portugal, Israel, Uruguay, Chile, and Turkey.

Dubbed Direct, the experimental app opens in camera mode - just like Snapchat. Overall, when this app gets released, you should feel right at home with it if you've ever used Instagram Stories. All you have to do is swipe left once you are in the Direct inbox to reveal Instagram icon which will direct you to the Instagram app.

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"Camera-first", huh? That sure sounds a lot like Snapchat. An even further swipe right pulls up the regular Instagram app, if it's installed.

In anticipation of this, the Facebook-owned app has been trialling Shopping on Instagram over the past year in the USA, and is planning on rolling out the feature to more countries in 2018. It's a brand new app that connects to your Instagram profile and is strictly about direct messaging. "To make it easier and more fun for people to connect in this way, we are beginning to test Direct - a camera-first app that connects seamlessly back to Instagram".

What do you think of the idea of a standalone Direct app?

Direct is super similar to Facebook Messenger, which shouldn't be particularly surprising - since Facebook took over Instagram, more and more similarities have been popping up between the two. In third place is Chinese messaging app QQ Mobile.

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