Kevin Systrom

  • Instagram is launching Direct, a standalone, messaging-focused app.
  • The service essentially takes the main Instagram app’s messaging features and packs them into a separate experience, which will seamlessly communicate with the main, feed-oriented app.
  • Direct is now in testing in just a few countries, and it’s unclear if and when it will see a broader rollout.

Instagram is spinning out its Direct messaging feature into its own separate app, The Verge first reported.

The new standalone app is reportedly just a test, for now, and will start rolling out today for iOS and Android users in six test countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay.

The new app’s structure feels a lot like Snapchat: When users open it, the camera pane will open, emphasising the app’s focus on creating new material (photos and videos) to share. The camera itself is identical to Instagram’s, but there are four new, exclusive filters.

An account and settings option will live to the camera’s left, while swiping the other way will present you with the list of chats, exactly as it works on Instagram’s main app now.

When users install the new Direct app, Instagram will automatically stop displaying chats; a swipe to the left will present you with a swift animation that brings you straight into Direct, while doing the same from Direct’s inbox will send you back to Instagram.

IG Direct

The move feels strikingly similar to what parent company Facebook did when it separated the messaging experience outside the social network’s main app three years ago.

“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 Read More Here