Instagram to Cut Messaging from App

Olive Hawkins
December 7, 2017

And it looks like Instagram is back on its bullshit with a new standalone messaging app.

Direct is available from today in Israel, Italy, Chile, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay, on both Android and iOS. When tapping on Direct from your home screen, you'll be greeted by a camera UI similar to what you'll find within Direct now.

According to The Verge, Instagram is playing with the idea of taking that last feature out of its main app and moving it to a standalone one by the name of "Direct". "Direct has grown within Instagram over the past four years, but we can make it even better if it stands on its own".

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Instagram may lose its messaging feature as it gets broken out into a separate app. The Verge reports that the app has three screens-the camera screen, a profile screen, and your inbox. They can push the boundaries to create the fastest and most creative space for private sharing, Shah added, when Direct is a camera-first, standalone app. For starters, it's another big step in Instagram's metamorphosis from photo sharing site, to broader social networking platform. If users don't actually want to take a photo in the Direct app, they could simply swipe down from the top and start typing a message.

"Camera-first", huh? That sure sounds a lot like Snapchat. The direct messaging feature is removed from Instagram once Direct is downloaded, but you can easily access it by swiping once again to the left in Instagram to see the Direct logo and then jump right to it. You can even go further and swipe to the right once more to open Instagram.

Well, get ready for the sequel, as the same thing is about to happen with Instagram. The CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said at the time that, "On mobile, each app can only focus on doing one thing well.Asking folks to install another app is a short term painful thing, but if we wanted to focus on serving this [use case] well, we had to build a dedicated and focused experience". When Messenger became a standalone app, it started with around 500 million users.

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