Instagram Direct combines disappearing videos and standard text threads

Elbert EdwardsApr 12, 2017

Hoping to expand its user base even more, Instagram shared that Direct has helped grow its 300 million active users a month to 345 million, since ephemeral messaging was brought to the app in November. This just goes to show you: Instagram Stories will likely be Facebook's most popular alternative to using Snapchat. However, once that content has been viewed, you'll see a little notice saying that something was sent and whether you'd like to view it again.

Prior to this update, sharing disappearing photos and videos with someone or a group while also participating in a private conversation with them meant you had at least two independent chats happening. Instagram Direct now claims 375 million monthly users, up from 250 million users in August. Now, all these messages will just be grouped under a single thread alongside all other text, images and photos you exchange with a person or group.

This isn't the first time Instagram has followed Snapchat's lead. Previously the features were separated, with disappearing photos and videos in their own conversation separate from text chats, meaning that you could have multiple threads going with the same person (s) within Direct. Permanent photos and videos can still be added to the conversation as well.

Instagram hopes the update to Direct will streamline conversations. Once you update, you'll be able to swipe left to access Direct, where you'll see a new blue camera icon to add a disappearing photo or video to an existing message thread. The new disappearing fun is a part of v10.16 which is live now. Regardless, Snap Inc. stock hasn't been doing so hot in recent days, and many blame (or maybe thank) Instagram's new features for it.

To send disappearing messages, simply swipe over to direct from feed and tap the blue camera icon.

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