Instagram's Distinct Messaging App Could be A victor

Instagram's Distinct Messaging App Could be A victor

Instagram's Distinct Messaging App Could be A victor

A report from earlier today said Instagram was gearing up to introduce a dedicated app for its Direct messaging service, and now an APK of the app has been published by the folks at APK Mirror. Basically, the company has taken the direct messaging feature of Instagram and spun it into a separate app, turning it into the Snapchat clone it always wanted. The Verge appears to confirm that scenario, citing Instagram Product Manager Hemal Shah as saying that the ephemeral nature of Direct Messages is a better fit for a standalone app than an attachment to a completely public social media platform. The app, which is now being tested in select markets including Uruguay, Chile, Turkey, Italy, Portugal and Israel is called Direct.

Instagram is preparing to soft-launch an Android app Direct, spinning off its Direct Messages into a standalone offering, The Verge reported Thursday. If you don't live in those countries, you may have to wait a while for Direct to be available to you - but that doesn't mean you can't get excited about the more than likely inevitable global release (I hope!) by learning more about it.

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. As expected, your friends on Instagram will all be added to the app, which should kind of give you a good start. "To make it easier and more fun for people to connect in this way, we are beginning to test Direct - a camera-first app that connects seamlessly back to Instagram". Just like Snapchat, its default screen is your phone's front-facing viewfinder.

Dubbed Direct, the experimental app opens in camera mode - just like Snapchat.

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Interestingly, Instagram is also including a quick way to switch between the Direct app and Instagram proper.

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

This test sounds a lot like what Facebook did with Messenger over the last few years. In third place is Chinese messaging app QQ Mobile. On the Direct app, you can swipe right to transition to Instagram.

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