Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

Instagram Direct is the pure Snapchat clone you've been waiting for

Instagram Direct is the pure Snapchat clone you've been waiting for

By April of this year, Direct had surpassed 375 million users more than half of Instagram's global community of roughly 600 million users.

As first reported by The Verge, Direct is now available in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay. You can swipe left and go to your Inbox on the right or swipe right and go to your app settings. Instagram said this is only a test run, but it falls in line with what parent company Facebook did when messaging was shut off on the social media site and transitioned over to Messenger in 2014.

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If you're an avid Instagram user, you're probably more than a little familiar with the app's direct messaging capabilities (or DMs, as the youths say). Opening up directly to the camera should make it pretty simple to start sharing on the fly.

The only specifics we have, if you can even call them specifics, is that the app will launch globally next year after Instagram has worked out the bugs and responded to user feedback. Swiping down from this screen shows your messages, very much like the opposite of Facebook Messenger when the camera was accessed with a swipe from the top.

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Direct, at its core, is Facebook's attempt to excise direct messaging from the core Instagram experience.

Today, Instagram is testing out yet another change with the launch of a standalone Instagram Direct app. 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. On the other hand, a huge reason Instagram Stories took off in the first place is because it was tacked on top, front and center, of an already popular app and there was no way for the user to opt out. The success of Messenger after its separation from Facebook shows it can be done, and could be boosted if Instagram adds different aspects to the app to keep it interesting. If you anxious this new app would make private messaging complicated, this proves it won't. "We can push the boundaries to create the fastest and most creative space for private sharing when Direct is a camera-first, standalone app", an Instagram Program Manager told The Verge.

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