At an event this morning in New York City, Instagram, the wildly popular photo-sharing app, introduced Instagram Direct. This new feature allows users to send text, photos and videos to each other privately.

To use the new feature, you still shoot and edit a photo just like you’ve done in the past, only now you can choose to send your photo to up to 15 people directly. Unlike other messaging apps, you cannot start a conversation with text, but must initiate the interaction with a photo. If the person or people you’re sending a message to are signed into their Instagram account, their avatar will light up in real-time inside a chat window to show that they’ve liked or viewed your message. With this feature integration, there has also been an update to the overall layout, which includes a new inbox button that sits in the upper right-hand corner of your home screen. This allows you easy access into recent messages to review and respond.

Additionally, if someone sends a direct message while you’re using the app, a notification appears at the top of the Inbox button. Similar to Twitter, the only people that can send you photos and videos directly are people you follow. For more insight into how the feature works, check out the overview video below:


According to the company’s blog, Instagram for iOS version 5.0 is available today for download in Apple’s App Store, and Instagram for Android version 5.0 is available today on Google Play. Instagram for Windows Phone is in beta. Stay tuned for future updates.

What do you think of Instagram Direct? Share in the comments.

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