Instagram has pushed out a new update that will now give Instagram Direct users access to several new features, which includes the ability to send content on their feed as a message.
(Photo : Instagram | Tech Times)
Instagram users will be pleased to learn that the photo-sharing service has updated the Android and iOS apps with some new features for Instagram Direct, its messaging feature.
On Tuesday, Sept. 1, Instagram pushed out the updates, which will now give Instagram Direct users the ability to send content on their feed as a message.
For the unfamiliar, Instagram Direct was launched in 2013 and enables users to share their images with a tiny group or an individual privately. It is estimated that each month, nearly 85 million Instagram users deploy Instagram Direct to send across photos privately.
Instagram Direct is popular with users who do not want to share a particular image with all users but just a select few.
With Direct getting an update and bringing threaded conversations, users will be able to not only share images and comment on them, but also chat about the images. One will be able to begin group chats instead of merely commenting, which will be a new way of communicating on the service.
The threaded messages will give the feel of a more traditional conversation through messaging. One will be able to use emoji and text to reply to the messages and also have the option of replying with an image belonging to them or sharing a photo from their feed.
There is also the option of taking a picture instantly using the camera feature in Direct without the need to leave the conversation to click a picture.
"We wanted to make a place for conversations to keep going, to enable that back-and-forth," notedÂ Ann Baum, a lead engineer on the project. "Now if you want to respond and send a new photo, you have a place to do that."
After the update, users will also be able to share more images in Direct. They can also share their location and profile as messages directly from their Instagram feed. For group messages, one will be able to add a maximum of 15 users to an Instagram Direct message. For example if you like the picture of a new eatery, simply click the arrow button below the image and share it with fellow gastronomes in your group.
Those worried about the privacy for Direct can also breathe easy: if you are not following someone and they send you a message, it will be marked "pending." The same will look like a message request. It is up to the recipient if they choose to decline or allow the message. Declining the message means you will not get further messages from the sender and you can even block the user.
To send group messages, one needs to be friends with the group's creator. It is only then that you can participate in the conversation thread.
Direct also currently has certain limitations, such as not being able to save or download photos from a conversation thread. It is not known if Instagram will remove the same going forward.