Speaking to The Verge, Hemal Shah, an Instagram product manager said, “We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is an important part of that. Direct has grown within Instagram over the past four years, but we can make it even better if it stands on its own. We can push the boundaries to create the fastest and most creative space for private sharing when Direct is a camera-first, standalone app.”
In terms of features, it’s more or less the same as the in-app messaging feature, except that it exists as a standalone app and will launch directly with the camera open, similar to that of Snapchat. Like we said, this is similar to what Facebook has done when they spun off the in-app messaging feature into the standalone Messenger app.
The app is currently in testing and is available on iOS and Android if you live in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, or Uruguay. There is still no definitive timeline for releasing the app for the rest of the world, if at all, but what do you guys think? Should Instagram’s in-app messaging feature deserve a standalone app?