Instagram is trialling a separate messaging app to replace existing inbox

IG Direct

In 2014, Facebook made a decision to strip off the messaging functionality from the main Facebook app, and hence, users were forced to download Facebook Messenger if they wanted to send and receive Facebook messages on their smartphone. In addition to this, the testing is being conducted in six countries: Israel, Chile, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay.

The new app "Direct" will force Instagram users to use it to continue private messaging with their contacts.

Instagram users already know that the app provides a means of communicating with other users via a messaging system build into the app.

A spokesperson for Instagram says, "We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is a big part of that".

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"Direct has grown within Instagram over the past 4 years, but we can make it even better if it stands on its own".

The challenge for Instagram would be to expand Direct at the same time maintaining its simplicity which is the most appealing factor of the app. Swiping right will display your profile which also includes settings, option to switch accounts and options to access different functions of Instagram. And that's the entire app for now.

Loyal Facebookers will remember when the social network introduced its own private messaging feature in 2014. On opening this app, the camera pane will open and emphasize users to create new content such as photos and videos for sharing.

The app consists of three screens. However, the feature will reappear as the standalone messaging application is deleted. Currently, the test version of the app doesn't allow you to DM in Instagram itself at all.

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"Camera-first", huh? That sure sounds a lot like Snapchat. Currently, Instagram users can send and receive messages through Direct. Although no such plan has been outlined yet, Direct could potentially become Facebook's third popular messaging tool alongside Messenger and WhatsApp.

You can also open Instagram app directly from the Direct app. However, this app is not now available for all. From there, you've got one-tap access to Instagram's face filters (including four exclusive ones) and a pull-down menu that lets you type messages. And if you swipe right in the same fashion within Instagram, you'll see the Direct logo and you'll jump into the Direct app.

It's no secret that Facebook has its sights set on Snapchat, one of the social media giant's fiercest competitors.

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