The standalone app for sending messages to your friends on Instagram will be shutting down. A spokesperson said that the "test of the standalone Direct app" would be rolling back in the coming month.
Launched for the first time in December 2017, the Direct app was an obvious attempt by Instagram to take advantage of Snapchat's core features to try and counteract its advance. Not only did it allow you to send messages to your Instagram contacts, it also had several Snapchat-style filters in its camera app. This is not the first time that Facebook has taken its cue from Snapchat, just think of Stories, launched in 2016, which has since become one of the main features of the platform.
Instagram has not explicitly stated the reason for pulling the plug on Direct. Probably because the app was initially launched in six countries (Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey and Uruguay), but never reached a level of popularity sufficient to reach the global level. So, Instagram will have the features of the Direct app, but they will continue to live only within the Instagram app itself. (Don't worry, your DMs will live on in the Instagram app.)
At first, everyone thought that the arrival of the Direct app could mark the beginning of the removal of direct messaging from the Instagram app, a strategy similar to the one we saw between Facebook and Messenger. However, the messaging is still alive and well in the official app, although it is not known why it has not been implemented in its web counterpart.
In addition, we know that Facebook intends to merge all its messaging systems, including Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. This will allow users of any platform to send private messages to users belonging to another without necessarily having to download multiple apps. We will therefore see how the situation develops in the coming months.
Have you ever used the Direct app? Did you know it existed?