Instagram is a photo sharing community of 150 million people. And while it’s great that so many people can access and interact with your Instagrams, sometimes you don’t want the whole world to see your photos. Today Instagram debuted Instagram Direct, a private photo and video messaging service that will allow you to share your Instagram with exactly who you want to, and no one else. As it turns out, the rumors were true.
Using Instagram Direct
Once you upgrade to the latest version of Instagram for iOS or Android, you’ll see a new icon on the top-right corner of your home feed. Tapping this button will open your Instagram Direct inbox, where you’ll find photos and videos sent to you.
To send a photo or video to someone directly, tap the plus sign at the top of your Instagram Direct inbox or click Instagram’s camera button as usual. Capture your photo or video using the interface you’re already familiar with. Then at the top of the screen you’ll have the option to share your Instagram with your followers or directly to specific users. To send using Direct, tap the names of the people you want to send your photo or video to, write a caption, and tap “send.”
Similar to private messaging on Facebook and Twitter, you can check back to see who’s seen the photo or video you shared directly, who’s liked it and watch your recipients commenting in real time.
When people you follow Instagram you directly, the photos or videos will appear immediately in your Instagram Direct inbox. If someone you’re not following sends you a photo or video, it will go into your requests inbox so you can decide whether you want to open it.
Instagram Jumps on the Private Photo Messaging Bandwagon
Instagram launches Instagram Direct mere days after Twitter added photo sharing capabilities to its private direct messaging service. It seems that with the popular photo messaging service Snapchat gaining steam and multi-billion dollar acquisition offers, Facebook and Twitter want to try for a chunk of the private messaging market, too. While Twitter offers users no special reason to share photos through its direct messages, Instagram offers photo filters that users are addicted to. For this reason Instagram Direct could gain some traction from users who aren’t so enamored with Snapchat’s self-destructing system.