Instagram Testing Direct Messages on the Web

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Direct Messages is a popular feature within Instagram, and it looks like it may be broadening its horizons soon.

TechCrunch is reporting on Tuesday that the Facebook-owned Instagram is testing the ability to access, and send, Direct Messages on the web. This will allow Instagram users to send and receive Direct Messages from a Mac or PC, or a mobile web browser if they so desire. Access would not be restricted to just the Instagram app any longer.

“Insta-chat addicts, rejoice. You could soon be trading memes and emojis from your computer. Instagram is internally testing a web version of Instagram Direct messaging that lets people chat without the app. If, or more likely, when this rolls out publicly, users on a desktop or laptop PC or Mac, a non-Android or iPhone, or that access Instagram via a mobile web browser will be able to privately message other Instagrammers.”

According to the report, which is based on information provided by serial tipster Jane Manchun Wong, the test is currently being “dogfooded” within Instagram — meaning it is being heavily tested internally, but there is no official announcement to make about the feature just yet.

“In the current design, Direct on the web is available from a Direct arrow icon in the top right of the screen. The feature looks like it will use an Instagram.com/direct/…. URL structure. If the feature becomes popular, perhaps Facebook will break it out with its own Direct destination website similar to https://www.messenger.com which launched in 2015. Instagram began testing a standalone Direct app last year, but it’s yet to be officially launched and doesn’t seem exceedingly popular.”

As it stands right now, Instagram is not commenting on the upcoming addition to Direct Messages. And while it’s still being tested, with no known plan for a public launch, this feels like a no-brainer for Instagram. Messaging is a solid way to keep engagement high, and considering this is Instagram we’re talking about, online presence is certainly not slowing down anytime soon.

Still, being able to quickly access your DMs from just about anywhere is a nice addition when/if it ever sees the light of day. Can Instagram’s Direct Messages feature be a full-fledged text replacement? Maybe for the Instagram hardcore.

In related news, Facebook has big ambitions for messaging between its many owned platforms. The company plans on integrating its messaging between Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp in the future. The idea is to make a one-stop-shop for all of the messaging needs. Will it work out? Only time will tell.

[via TechCrunch]