I was a bit confused this morning when I was about to post a picture on Instagram and was asked to either post to my followers or “direct.” Intrigued, I checked out the ‘direct’ option and realized that I could send a photo directly to one of my friends. What does this mean exactly? Well, to put it simply, it’s a private message. So the photo could only be viewed by them. Hm, sounds a bit like Snapchat, except without the automatic deletion of the photo. So what are the perks exactly?
With direct, you can choose a specific friend and type a direct message that goes only to them. They get to keep the photo and view it at any time. The fun part is, you can send direct messages up to 15 people, and according to TechCrunch, Instagram Direct also offers up suggested recipients (TechCrunch). Once you’ve sent an Instagram Direct, you can comment about the photo back and forth with who you’ve sent it to. You can also “Reply all” with another new photo or video.
This messaging feature adds a new form of engagement for the app, but I believe that most users will refrain from this feature, and will continue to use Snapchat or text messaging instead, since Instagram’s platform is mainly focused on all your followers and your main feed.
It’s interesting that through Instagram Direct, you must start the conversation with a photo message. Although the app is staying true to its roots, a fun and artsy Instagram photo should really be shared with all of your followers, don’t you think?
Read more details at TechCrunch here and watch the video preview below: