Facebook has a habit of frequently testing changes (both big and small) for its extensive library of crazy popular social networking services, but while most new features added to Instagram tend to stick, enriching the app’s functionality or expanding its reach, others never get to see daylight or move past the public testing phase.
Instagram Direct is part of the latter category, reportedly “going away” sometime “in the coming month” after making a limited global debut way back in December 2017. This was actually a standalone app rather than something built directly into the main Instagram interface, but technically, the thing never got a proper, wide-scale release. Instagram (or rather Facebook) also didn’t do much to promote the service, which essentially cloned one of the core features of arch-rival Snapchat.
Namely, Instagram Direct was largely focused on enabling message exchanges between users, with Instagram friends instantly added to one’s list upon signing up and, of course, support for fun face filters to spice up your photos and videos. If that sounds useful in any way, fret not, as Instagram Direct conversations will automatically move to the main Instagram app, where you’ll be able to continue enjoying the same messaging features as before. After all, private messaging has been supported by Instagram since 2013.
As the company was quick to highlight in a short statement provided to TechCrunch after the imminent death of the standalone Direct experience ironically started making the Twitter rounds, Instagram Direct will remain the “best place for fun conversations with your friends.” Just not in a separate app, whose tests are being “rolled back” after merely exceeding a million Android installs in Google Play and receiving largely mediocre iOS user reviews.