Since Facebook acquisition of Instagram in 2012, we were waiting when Facebook will exert its influence on Instagram. For many years, Facebook focused on integration between the two major platforms.
Now Facebook is testing the idea of splitting the Instagram core photo/video sharing platform with its native chat messaging. Direct, now launched on Android devices, is a chat only messaging app that closely resembles Snapchat.
Direct in its most basic form the combination of Instagram stories and the text-based messaging functionality. The added features include the ability to add face filters and to edit your friend’s photos/videos.
We see Direct as the Facebook messaging designed for the younger generation. Since 2015, Facebook has been suffering a decline in the volume of users between the age of 13-25.
As described in this HuffingtonPost article titled: Why the New Generation is Turning Away from Facebook, “Facebook is “dead to us” and is seen as “an awkward family dinner party we can’t really leave.” The truth is once parents get on board a social platform, the kids will flee. It’s just awkward posting stories and photos that your parents will eventually see.
Because Direct is so now in the market, it’s difficult to do a fair review of the app, though initial user reviews are nothing but mediocre. Currently sitting on the Google Play Store at 3/5 stars, the reviews have the same concerns as we have. One review reads at 1/5 stars: “It’s a useless app because the built-in messaging in Instagram is perfect. The app itself is good, just pointless.”
If we were to predict, Direct will eventually replace the current direct messaging functionality within the Instagram App. We won’t be a big fan of this. Given we do a lot of messaging with people on a daily basis, the jumping between apps will definitely be a pain.
Will Instagram Direct be another copycat of Snapchat or will Instagram bring innovation in the social messaging industry? Only time will tell. Let us know below if you think Direct was a smart business decision for Instagram and why.