Instagram unveils private messaging service

Michael Josh Villanueva

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Instagram unveils private messaging service "Instagram Direct" at a special event in New York Thursday, December 12

MANILA, Philippines Instagram unveiled a private messaging service at a special event in New York Thursday, December 12. 

The new service called “Instagram Direct” gives users the ability to send photos and videos to as many as 15 contacts at a time.

FOLLOWERS OR DIRECT. Share photos to followers or directly to a select group of contacts.

When posting photos and/or videos to Instagram, users can now get the option to share with their followers or directly to specific contacts. Private posts are stored in a user’s inbox available as an icon on the top right corner of the app. 

REALTIME TRACKING. Track if posts sent via Instagram direct have been viewed and/or liked.

Users can track, in real time, when the photo/video sent via Instagram Direct has been seen and or liked by each individual recipient. This is indicated by a green check mark when viewed, and a red heart when liked.

Users can swipe between their Inbox and Feed.

NOT FOLLOWING. Photos and/or videos sent to people who do not follow you come in as friend requests.

You can only send messages to people you follow but it doesn’t matter if the other person is following you or not. If the person you send a direct photo or video to isn’t following you, they will still get your photo/video in the form of a friend request.

Earlier this week, in a move possibly meant to pre-empt the Instagram announcement, rival Twitter updated its smartphone apps bringing Direct Messages front and center. Similar to the Instagram announcement, the Twitter update gave smartphone users the ability to send photo Direct Messages and the ability to swipe between screens. 

Instagram Direct is now available as an update on the iOS app store and Google Play for Android devices. –

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