The big picture: Instagram is shutting down its standalone Direct messaging app, moving the functionality back to the main app. No reason was given for Instagram’s decision to make the change but we have to imagine that Snapchat isn't too torn up about it.
Social media commentator Matt Navarra was the first to break the news which has since been confirmed by Instagram.
The Facebook-owned social media company first launched direct messaging in its main app in 2013 but experimented with moving the feature over to its own app in December 2017. It was available across several markets on both Android and iOS although for whatever reason, Instagram never really seemed all that interested in promoting the app. Heck, it never even shed its beta status.
A spokesperson for Instagram told TechCrunch that they are indeed “rolling back the test of the standalone Direct app,” adding that they are focused on continuing to make Instagram Direct the best place for fun conversations with your friends. Conversations will automatically be moved over to the main Instagram app so you won’t need to take any action to keep using Direct messaging.
As TechCrunch understands it, Instagram will continue to develop Direct features but they’ll simply live in the main app from here on out.