Most apps look to cram in as much functionality as possible but that’s not always the case. Social media king Facebook a few years back rolled Messenger into its own app and now, it appears interested in doing the same with Instagram.
The image sharing social media platform is reportedly testing a standalone private messaging app called Direct. When installed, the inbox from the core Instagram app disappears and is replaced by the new standalone app. Direct opens to the camera app (much like Snapchat).
According to Instagram product manager Hemal Shah, Direct has grown within Instagram over the past four years but they can make it even better if it stands on its own. They can push the boundaries to create the fastest and most creative space for private sharing, Shah added, when Direct is a camera-first, standalone app.
Direct is launching today in six countries – Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey and Uruguay – on Android and iOS.
As The Verge highlights, this could be the first step in removing messaging features from the core Instagram app. No timeline for a larger rollout has been given although if that were to become the end game, Facebook would find itself with a third popular messaging app alongside Messenger and WhatsApp and plenty of additional opportunities to serve ads to generate revenue.
For end-users, it could mean yet another app to juggle.