Instagram Direct is the pure Snapchat clone you've been waiting for

08 December, 2017, 01:56 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Kevin Systrom

According to The Verge, the photo sharing social network is testing a standalone Direct messaging app.

Over the past year, that included relaunching Direct - still with the Instagram app - to include permanent and disappearing messages in one thread. The app that's been rumored since early 2017 is said to become available in six test markets on both Android and iOS starting later today, with Instagram reportedly bringing it to Italy, Portugal, Israel, Uruguay, Chile, and Turkey.

Although it is officially only a test, Instagram's rationale for building Direct app is that private messaging can never be a best-in-class experience when it lives inside an app meant for broadcasting publicly.

The app is now available in six countries, no word on whether it will be released globally but if all goes well most likely soon. The move would mirror the actions of its parent company Facebook, which removed messaging from the core Facebook app in 2014 and replaced the feature with the standalone Facebook Messenger app. And knowing Facebook, Direct will probably follow the same route. And if you swipe right in the same fashion within Instagram, you'll see the Direct logo and you'll jump into the Direct app. "We can push the boundaries to create the fastest and most creative space for private sharing when Direct is a camera-first, stand-alone app". The app consists of just three screens.

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"Camera-first", huh? That sure sounds a lot like Snapchat. If you do want to send photos, though, it's a fun experience - right now, there are four different filters on the test app. Overall, when this app gets released, you should feel right at home with it if you've ever used Instagram Stories. Direct also has four exclusive photo and video filters that are not now in the main Instagram app, including a amusing one that randomly bleeps your voice and covers up your mouth.

To date, Instagram Stories has been Facebook's most successful effort to replicate Snap's (NYSE:SNAP) Snapchat and its Stories feature.

Direct will let you create and share stories, and give you access to exclusive filters. In third place is Chinese messaging app QQ Mobile.

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