Following rumors that Instagram would be getting some sort of video/photo messaging feature to compete with the likes of Snapchat, the company has today released “Instagram Direct” which is set to do just that.
Instagram Direct is a new feature that allows Instagram users to send their photos and videos to specific people, without having to upload them publically. Just take a photo with Instagram and then hit the new “Direct” icon, where you can then select multiple users you’d like to send it to.
Unlike Snapchat, you’ll be able to re-open messages later on if you like. Users will also be able to like and comment on the messages, with everyone that was originally sent the message being included in the conversation.
After sending, you’ll be able to find out who’s seen your photo or video, see who’s liked it and watch your recipients commenting in real time as the conversation unfolds.
Photos and videos that you receive from people you follow will appear immediately. If someone you’re not following sends you a photo or video on Instagram, it will go to your requests so you can decide if you want to view it.
You can get Instagram Direct right now by updating your Instagram iOS app to the new version 5.0.