When Snapchat unveiled its photo-messaging service, it became an instant hit. It’s no wonder that Instagram started thinking of a way to respond to this trend, and their efforts came in the form of Instagram Direct – a straightforward way to use the app for sending photos and videos to selected users.
Despite the previous impression, Direct doesn’t come in the form of a traditional inbox we are all used to. Instead of enabling two-way conversations through photos, this concept allows the user begin a conversation with one photo or video that invites up to 15 users to chat about it in the comment section of that file. The participants in the chat cannot send other photos or videos back as a response – a new message thread is required for that.
If you would like to share messages with your significant other, then Instagram Direct is not what you’re looking for – the inbox will be cluttered up with lots of threads and you will have problems finding a specific photo or video you sent or the other user sent. However, if you want to start fun group conversations with certain friends and you don’t want everyone else to know about your private jokes, you can avoid the public view and use Instagram Direct as the perfect choice for such activities.
What’s unique about Instagram Direct?
Some features of Instagram Direct have been borrowed from Facebook, such as notifying the sender whether you’ve seen a photo or not. So don’t even think of pretending you haven’t seen a thread that’s been shared with you, unless you want your friends to know you’re ignoring them. The cool thing about Instagram Direct is that it allows you to delete messages you’ve sent when you change your mind and hide messages that were sent to you by other users when you don’t want to see them.
Instagram Direct allows you to share messages with users you’re not following, but they will have to approve your request first, which means that the service is preventing spamming in some way, but we’ll have to wait and see whether it is effective or not.
You can get Instagram Direct as part of the new Instagram update, which is accessible to both Android and iOS users. Besides this new service, the update also includes camera interface changes for iPhone, which the users have been expecting ever since the iOS 7 style stepped on stage. Granular privacy settings for images have also been implemented into Isntagram with this update. Although these settings are hided under the hood of a messaging service, they are still welcomed because that makes them easier for the users to get used to.
What are users saying about Instagram Direct?
As with all other updates and innovations – some users love Instagram Direct, some don’t. One thing is for sure: everyone realizes why Facebook was making attempts to buy Snapchat – it would have been easier for them to simply integrate it into Instagram instead of building a similar sharing method by themselves.
Most iOS users appreciate the design updates that came with the new update, but Windows Phone users are disappointed again for being left out.
On the bright side – Instagram Direct is easy to use; there are no complaints about it. The service is also a great way for businesses to get their potential customers involved by sharing targeted images.
Will Instagram Direct be turned into another possibility for endless spamming and a way to share naked pictures with few selected users? We will have to wait and see.