Instagram Direct gets disappearing photos and videos

The new update for Direct is rolling out today in the latest version of the Instagram app on Google Play.

Instagram claims it "wants to make Direct the best place to have fun, visual conversations with your friends", and blending the two areas together could help ingrain Stories-like messaging in people's minds. A quick tap allows you to view them and replay them once. You can tap to view the disappearing content in the same message thread where you've already been chatting with your friends, and like Snapchat, you can only replay the messages one other time.

According to Instagram, since the company updated their direct messaging function, more than 375 million people are now using the new feature. They can also select a specific message thread and tap the blue camera inside.

Previously, disappearing messages were siloed off in a separate part of the Instagram Direct interface.


Take a new photo or a new video, edit. Uploads, texts, and reshares don't get any changes with this update.

Facebook first tried to compete with Snapchat's unique disappearing model in August 2016 when it introduced Instagram Stories, an ephemeral video and photo-sharing feature for its photo-sharing subsidiary. Then, snap a photo or record a video. Texts and reshares will now appear in the same thread with disappearing photos and videos so you can seamlessly go back and forth with your friends.

Instagram has been known to rip off Snapchat before, so this week's update to Direct doesn't come as much of a surprise. Instagram says it will start preventing unwanted or surprising experience on its platform; it means users will no longer be caught unaware by any video or photo when using its service. So, this update can be seen as an ongoing effort to enhance the current experience and making it more streamlined - which it definitely has.


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