Instagram is testing moving Direct messaging to a new app

Instagram is testing moving Direct messaging to a new app

The app will let you create and share stories, and give you access to exclusive filters, Boomerang and other creative tools on Instagram. The Direct messaging system that was upgraded to replicate Snapchat functionality just earlier this year may become a standalone app supposed to offer you a Snapchat like chatting system that won't interfere with the main goal of Instagram.

Six different countries are going to be seeing something a bit different on Instagram, as the company experiments with separating out the messaging part of its service into its own app, called Direct.

"We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is an important part of that", Instagram product manager Hemal Shah said.

It is unclear when, or if, Instagram plans to launch Direct to all users. However, unlike Messenger, which always had the potential to be a full fledged messaging app, Instagram Direct only really works or is relevant within the realm of Instagram and becomes largely irrelevant on its own.

The company confirmed to CNN Tech it is testing Direct in Turkey, Uruguay, Chile, Portugal, Italy and Israel. So, just like when Messenger came about, and you could no longer message people on Facebook's app; instead, you had to download Messenger.

Facebook continues to expand its mobile footprint with messaging apps.

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The app is now available in six countries, no word on whether it will be released globally but if all goes well most likely soon.

Personally, I don't mind Direct much.

Dubbed Direct, the experimental app opens in camera mode - just like Snapchat. Facebook's decision was controversial at the time, but the move has ultimately paid off for the company, with Messenger now boasting more than 1.2 billion monthly active users.

To date, Instagram Stories has been Facebook's most successful effort to replicate Snap's (NYSE:SNAP) Snapchat and its Stories feature.

"Camera-first", huh? That sure sounds a lot like Snapchat. Whether that happens later or not remains to be seen but it makes sense for it to be within the messaging app. On the Direct app, you can swipe right to transition to Instagram.

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