Instagram takes aim at Snapchat with picture and video messaging service

Instagram Direct

Facebook-owned Instagram on Thursday announced a new addition to its wildly popular mobile app suite that looks to capitalize on the recent boom in mobile messaging apps. Dubbed Instagram Direct, the service allows users to send and receive photos, videos and text messages privately with other Instagram users as well as groups of Instagram users, outside of the main public feed.

“From how you capture photos and videos to the way you start conversations through likes and comments, we built Instagram Direct to feel natural to the Instagram experience you already know,” Instagram said in a post on its blog. “When you open Instagram, you’ll now see a new icon in the top right corner of your home feed. Tap it to open your inbox where you’ll see photos and videos that people have sent to you.”

The post continued, “To send a photo or video to specific people, tap the camera button to enter the same simple photo or video capture and editing screens. At the top of the share screen, you’ll see the option to share with your followers (‘Followers’) or to send to specific people (‘Direct’). To send using Direct, tap the names of the people you want to send your photo or video to, write your caption, tap ‘send’ and you’re done.”

A live video feed of Instagram’s event is embedded below.

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