Instagram to Cut Messaging from App

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As per reports, Instagram is busy with the making of a stand-alone messaging app. Along with your regular feed, there's the Instagram Explore Tab for finding photos the app thinks you're interested in, a Stories feature taken straight from Snapchat, live streaming, and the ability to send direct messages to other users. The move follows a similar move parent company Facebook made back in 2014 where they separated its built-in messaging service into what's now Messenger.

According to The Verge, Instagram is playing with the idea of taking that last feature out of its main app and moving it to a standalone one by the name of "Direct". "Direct has grown within Instagram over the past four years, but we can make it even better if it stands on its own", Hemal Shah, a product manager at Instagram, told The Verge.

Direct would be available from today in Italy, China, Turkey, Israel, Portugal and Uruguay for both the Android and iOS.

The challenge for Instagram would be to expand Direct at the same time maintaining its simplicity which is the most appealing factor of the app.

Instagram has not announced how long the tests will last and when it expects Direct to be rolled out to the rest of the world.

If one gets successful in downloading Direct, they would notice that it would remove the by default inbox from the mainstream messaging application.

While you can check out Instagram Direct's app page on Google Play, you will most likely not be able to download it quite yet. For starters, it's another big step in Instagram's metamorphosis from photo sharing site, to broader social networking platform. When that happens, users can keep swiping right to open the main Instagram app.

By creating the standalone Direct app, Instagram is doing the same thing that Facebook did with Messenger.

Facebook Messenger, which started its journey with 500 million users and a wave of 1-star reviews, now sits at 1.3 billion users, and ratings have improved up to a 3-star average.

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