Instagram has just started a chat-like feature called Instagram Direct, allowing users to share photos directly and have conversations about them.
Free messaging on mobile devices seems to be the hot thing at the moment, with everyone trying to outdo the other in terms of features. Of course the leader is Facebook with their Messenger service, but even they have stiff competition in the form of Skype, iMessage, WhatsApp, WeChat, SnapChat, Kik, and others. But now Instagram thinks it has a shot at doing well at this gig, so it has announced a new free service for its members called Instagram Direct.
Simply put, Instagram Direct allows members to communicate privately with one another, using text, images, and video. Sometimes images are not for site-wide consumption and you may wish to just share them with one person or with a group of people (up to a maximum of 15). A message must start with an image so you can’t just fire off some text, as you would with say WhatsApp or Skype. And when the person has seen your photo and / or liked it, their avatar will light up.
But don’t worry about Instagram spam hitting your inbox. The company has taken a leaf out of Twitter’s book, by designing it so only the people you follow can send you messages. So if anyone is annoying you with too many pictures, just unfollow them and it will stop.
Whether or not Instagram Direct remains a viable product, and a threat to the established services such as Skype and WhatsApp, remains to be seen. In the meantime, kick the tires a bit and see how the system works. We would love to hear your opinions about it in the comments below.
Source: The Verge