- Instagram is killing its standalone messaging app, Direct.
- The app was rolled out to a small number of countries in 2017 but never really took off. Many people have never even heard of it.
- Conversations on Direct will be moved back to Instagram in the coming month, it said in a message to users.
- The decision comes as Facebook goes about knitting together the backends of Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram DMs, bringing the products closer together.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Instagram’s standalone messaging app is no more.
On Wednesday, social media commentator Matt Navarra, along with several users, spotted a new message on the app, known as Direct, informing them that it will be closing “in the coming month.”
For some people, this was the first time they found out that the app even existed, and that’s because it never really took off.
Confirmed: Instagram is killing its standalone Direct Messaging app pic.twitter.com/owt2gXtfCE
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) May 16, 2019
Direct from Instagram launched in 2017 in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay.
At the time, a company spokesperson told The Verge that Instagram’s direct messaging feature within its own app was growing and the company felt it could make it better if “stood on its own.” It looked to be following the same trajectory as Facebook and its own standalone messaging app, Messenger.
It worked in a similar way to Snapchat – users could easily share photos and videos of themselves or write messages. Once you installed the app, your Instagram direct inbox would disappear and any messages could only be accessed via Direct.
Now, it’s sending these messages back to Instagram. Instagram and Facebook did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment and has not explained why the company decided to close Direct.
The decision comes as Facebook goes about knitting together the backends of Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram DMs, bringing the products closer together. It’s all part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to boost end-to-end encryption and make Facebook more private.
“I believe that the future is private,” he said at Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference earlier this month. “As the world gets bigger and more connected, we need that sense of intimacy more than ever.”
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