Instagram to Cut Messaging from App

Instagram tests standalone messaging app called Direct

Instagram is launching Direct, a standalone, messaging-focused app.

The new standalone app is reportedly just a test, for now, and will start rolling out today for iOS and Android users in six test countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay.

"We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is an important part of that", Instagram product manager Hemal Shah said. When you open Direct, it goes straight to the camera - perhaps in an effort to condition you into creating and sharing content. Remember, users went on a similar outrage when Facebook introduced a dedicated messaging app for its platform.

As The Verge highlights, this could be the first step in removing messaging features from the core Instagram app. You will be happy to know that for the new app, Instagram includes four new filters including one that censors your speech when you least expect it, and another that superimposes your mouth over your mouth (yes, it is as odd as it sounds). The Verge reports that the app has three screens-the camera screen, a profile screen, and your inbox. This is similar to how Snapchat opens, which is a way to encourage users to start taking and sharing photos.

Analysts See Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MMC) Rising 1.8%
Loring Wolcott Coolidge Fiduciary Ltd Liability Partnership Ma has invested 0% in Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MMC). The firm owned 430,691 shares of the financial services provider's stock after selling 87,068 shares during the period.

Instagram wasn't immediately available for comment.

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

When Facebook split Messenger off into its own standalone app, it had about 500 million monthly active users. Now, it has grown to 1.3 billion users, as pointed out by Business Insider.

By creating the standalone Direct app, Instagram is doing the same thing that Facebook did with Messenger. The move would mirror the actions of its parent company Facebook, which removed messaging from the core Facebook app in 2014 and replaced the feature with the standalone Facebook Messenger app.

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