It has been a few years since Facebook made a standalone Messenger app, which, at the time, was a pretty controversial decision, but it seems to have worked out in the end.
According to a report from The Verge, Instagram is apparently testing an app called “Direct” to serve as its own standalone messaging app. The social network is testing the app right now, and for those who do have the app installed on their device are seeing the Direct feature that’s traditionally built into the Instagram disappearing from the app altogether. That means that the standalone app would be the only way to receive and send Instagram messages to other users. It is currently being tested in Chile, Italy, Israel, Turkey, Portugal, and Uruguay on both iOS and Android.
“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 me. “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.”
Direct will open directly into the camera, so it looks like Instagram will be sticking with the feature it knows best, even when communicating directly with another user. It will be interesting to see how long this app is in testing, and if that test broadens its scope before it eventually finds its way to the public.
What do you think of the idea of installing a new standalone messaging app?
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