Instagram reveals direct messaging feature – Instagram Direct

On the heels of Facebook’s offer to buy snapchat being declined, Facebook-owned photo sharing app Instagram has released a feature which could potentially destroy Snapchat.

Instagram Direct was unveiled today at a mysterious press event. “Photos, when they are transmitted, become communication,” Instagram cofounder and CEO Kevin Systrom said at the event. That communication gets more sophisticated with Instagram Direct.

Instagram Direct is also interesting because users can exchange photos without following each other. Instagram Direct is also interesting because users can exchange photos without following each other. If the receivers choose to accept the photo, they can view and comment on it.

You can send an Instagram Direct to up to 15 users at once. The idea is not to “spam your friends,” as Kevin Systrom said, but instead to share to more private, specific groups.

Instagram Direct is completely separate from Facebook chat, and users can not inter-message users between the two platforms.

iPhone and Android users can update their app today to access the new features.

Systrom said that Zuckerberg was one of the first beta testers of the product. There is no indication that Zuckerberg pushed to make Instagram Direct a feature. Having said that, Snapchat can now consider Facebook’s alleged offer of $3b revoked, as Facebook potentially has access to a very similar feature – sans the auto-destruct on a product they already own. If Facebook decided to implement the auto-destruct feature, they could do so without altering the functionality of the app very easily.

Best way to save $3 billion ever.

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