Instagram brings photo messaging with “Instagram Direct”


posted Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 1:05 PM EST


Instagram has hopped on board the messaging train, with the newly announced Instagram Direct, a feature that will let you send direct images, videos, and text privately to up to 15 of your friends and followers.

The updated version of the app is available now for both iOS and Android (Windows Phone users are stuck in beta for the immediate future). After editing your image in Instagram, you'll have the option to send it out either to your entire feed, as normal, or as a direct message, where only a select few will see it. Instagram Direct has to be started with an image or video, but after that allows for text messages, too.

The functionality is inherently limited to people who you're already connected with on Instagram. If someone else wants to send you a direct message, it instead heads to your approval queue, where you can decide if you want to see it or not.

While it's nice to see Instagram expanding its offerings, this is hardly a major feature. It comes just days after Twitter started allowing images in DM, and on the back of extremely popular direct photo messaging apps like Snapchat. Still, if you want to share a particular image with just one or two people, it's definitely an improvement over what Instagram could do before.