Instagram tests standalone messaging app called Direct

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The private messaging feature of Instagram is to be removed from the service and replaced with a standalone app.

That makes sense. Just look at Facebook Messenger, which was first released in 2011, and made the default mobile messaging experience since 2014.

Direct is available from today in Israel, Italy, Chile, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay, on both Android and iOS.

In case, Instagram launched Direct globally, for which no current timeline has been given so far, Facebook would become an owner of the third famous messaging tool alongside WhatsApp and Messenger.

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The service essentially takes the main Instagram app's messaging features and packs them into a separate experience, which will seamlessly communicate with the main, feed-oriented 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", Hemal Shah, an Instagram product manager, told The Verge.

The Direct app, in its current state, is simple and straightforward.

If you're able to download Direct, you should note that it removes the inbox from the mainstream messaging app. Most of the features that are in the Direct app can already be found on the current Instagram app. The Verge reports that the app has three screens-the camera screen, a profile screen, and your inbox.

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The thing that stands out the most is the camera, which is the first thing that will greet users when they open the Direct app. You'll have the option of taking either a photo or video and adding your own effects and filters, with some even being exclusive to the app including a superimposing mouth and censor bleeps at random times. Similarly, you can swipe into Direct from Instagram just as easily.

Remember how upset people were when Facebook started requiring everyone to install the separate Messenger app? When that happens, users can keep swiping right to open the main Instagram app.

Direct has some 375 million users as of April, which is one good reason for Facebook to want to turn it into a standalone app.

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