Yep, you can now send private messages on Instagram via their latest feature called Instagram Direct.
Before this, Instagram users were only able to share their photos and videos to the public or their list of followers and the only text-based communication happened in the comments section under the photos. Right now however, Instagram Direct introduces a brand new way to communicate on the popular social media platform. Users can now exchange private messages with up to 15 people in one thread, which allows for more intimate and private conversations between friends or partners. They can also receive photos and videos from people they follow, although anyone can send a private message in the form of a pending request.
We suspect that Instagram has come up with this feature to compete with two major rivals: Snapchat and Twitter.
“What’s really important to Instagram is you need to remember these moments,” said Instagram CEO and cofounder Kevin Systrom, indirectly dissing Snapchat. Unlike the disappearing photo chat service, Instagram Direct keeps an accessible record of prior conversations, so users can revisit pictures and messages sent in the past.
Twitter debuted the ability to send photos in its direct messages yesterday, an attempt to attract users to its private messaging function, but we believe that the tiny adjustment may be overshadowed by Instagram’s new feature.
Instagram also released a video explaining the feature: