Down In The DM: Instagram Is Testing A Standalone Messaging App
Plus, the ability to follow hashtags.
Entertainment 6m

There’s no doubt that countless friendships and romantic flings have been birthed via the online hub that is Instagram DMs – so much so, that there’s a rap song about it – but that format might be undergoing a change.

As of this week, Instagram is testing a standalone messaging app – aptly named Direct – that will seperate your DMs from Instagram’s public posts and stories. It’s currently been made available for users in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay, consisting of the ability to chat privately with followers via message, photo and special filters.

While there’s no plan for a global rollout of Direct just yet, the move makes sense: Instagram’s parent company, Facebook made the same move a few years back, moving Facebook chat into its own seperate Messenger app. “We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is an important part of that,” Instagram product manager Hemal Shah tells The Verge.

“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.” There’s no doubt that many users will be inconvenienced by having to switch between Instagram and Direct, instead of having it all bundled up in one – but hey, first world problems.

Also this week, Instagram now gives you the ability to follow a hashtag, just like you follow a profile. Whether you’re particular fond of #nike or #adidas, it’s now easier to stay on top of what’s happening online within your respective interest. Or, you can just follow #YOLO and #blessed and see what type of weird shit pops up.

Sunshine and @stephclairesmith ???

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Sunday night movie night ?#didwejustbecomebestfriends

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Life Without Andy x @tommyhilfiger now online ???link in bio

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Head image via The Verge

Words by Christopher Kevin Au December 13, 2017
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