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Instagram Kills Experiment With Standalone Direct Messaging App

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Good bye, Instagram Direct standalone!!

If you are an Instagram Direct user you should know that the Facebook-owned company is ceasing support for the dedicated application. What does this mean? Instagram Direct will killed. You will no longer be able to slide in those DMs anymore.

First spotted by social media commentator Matt Navarra, this news was delivered to users of Direct for Instagram via an in-app notification, which informed them that the standalone app is “going away” and that their conversations would be transferred to Instagram proper.

“In the coming month, we’ll no longer be supporting the Direct app. Your conversations will automatically move over to Instagram, so you don’t need to do anything.

Originally announced on December 7, 2017, Instagram started the Direct app as a test in limited markets in 2017, including Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay. At the time, the company aimed to bring features not available inside the Instagram app into the dedicated messaging platform. Direct opened straight to the camera, much like Snapchat. The app also had filters that weren’t available inside Instagram. While the Direct messaging feature never left Instagram, users that downloaded the test no longer had the messaging options inside Instagram.

After experimenting with a dedicated messaging app, Instagram is shuttering its stand-alone Direct app. Tests of moving Direct to a separate app never reached Messenger-level status, which likely mixed with Facebook’s new focus on privacy and potentially merging messaging tools in the decision to shut down the separate app.—Facebook applied the same model it used on Messenger, pulling it out of the main Facebook app, and making it available as a standalone option. Now it seems that the company changed its mind, so enjoy those last few days you are able to use Instagram Direct!

Instagram will continue developing Direct features — they just won’t live in a standalone app. Tests and rollouts of new features that we’ve reported before include encryption in direct messaging, the ability to watch videos with other people, a web version of the direct messaging feature and more.

According to report:

“We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is a big part of that,” the Facebook-owned confirmed the news to TechCrunch, “To make it easier and more fun for people to connect in this way, we are beginning to test Direct – a camera-first app that connects seamlessly back to Instagram.”

“I believe that the future is private,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg 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.”

Instagram will continue developing Direct features but within its main app. The Direct app test is being rolled back, while future updates will focus on the messaging option still built into the Instagram app. While Direct never made it out of testing, Instagram used the app to test other messaging features like web-based access to messages—which have appeared variously in testing, include encryption in direct messaging, the ability to watch videos with other people, and a web version of the direct messaging feature.

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.

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