Instagram is testing a standalone app for direct messaging

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Although the fact is that this is its officially test only and not a final run through, Instagram's logistic strategy for constructing the Direct app is that private messaging can never be a best-in-class experience when it lives inside an app meant for public broadcasting.

If you're an avid Instagram user, you're probably more than a little familiar with the app's direct messaging capabilities (or DMs, as the youths say).

Instagram is testing a new standalone messaging app, called Direct, The Verge reported today (Dec. 7).

"We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is an important part of that", Hemal Shah, an Instagram product manager, told The Verge's Casey Newton.

It is unclear when, or if, Instagram plans to launch Direct to all users.

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Instagram also added "face filters" over the summer.

The company confirmed to CNN Tech it is testing Direct in Turkey, Uruguay, Chile, Portugal, Italy and Israel. Direct is a new Instagram companion app to send and receive messages.

'We can push the boundaries to create the fastest and most creative space for private sharing when Direct is a camera-first, standalone app'. Since the social network made the split, the standalone Messenger app's grown into a veritable platform of its own, replete with an app store, chat bots, and a user base of more than a billion people.

An account and settings option will live to the camera's left, while swiping the other way will present you with the list of chats, exactly as it works on Instagram's main app now. 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. It will also serve as a big plus for Facebook; a company already basking in the success of its Messaging apps-Messenger and WhatsApp.

Facebook continues to expand its mobile footprint with messaging apps. It opens camera-first, so just like Snapchat, and it's very simple, with only three screens. As of April 2017, Instagram Direct, still married to the Instagram app, had around 375 million active monthly users.

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