Instagram is putting an end to Direct, its standalone camera-first messaging app, which was used to send Instagram direct messages. The Facebook-owned photo-messaging app is also doubling down on Stories and will now feature personalised Stories recommendations in the Explore tab. The personalised Story recommendations will roll out in the coming weeks, whereas Instagram will shut down Direct in June and users' content from Direct will move to the main Instagram app.
“In the coming month, we'll no longer be supporting the 'Direct' app. Your conversations will automatically move over to Instagram, so you don't need to do anything," a message popping up on the app reads.
First launched in December 2017, the Direct app came in with plenty of Snapchat-style filters, but it also allowed users to swipe down from the top of the screen to type messages to their Instagram contacts. The app was initially launched in six countries -- Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey and Uruguay -- but it appears to have never rolled out globally.
Instagram's reasons for shutting down the app remain undisclosed, the report added. Direct was the second time Instagram borrowed an idea from Snapchat; it had earlier launched a 'Stories' feature in 2016.
While Direct may not have succeeded for Instagram, Stories have gotten massive traction. According to Instagram, over 500 million people use Stories every day. Considering this uptake, Instagram is betting big on the feature and will be releasing a redesigned version of Explore tab, which will now feature Stories.
“In the same way that Explore recommends posts based on topics you're interested in, the grid will now provide you with personalized Stories recommendations,” Instagram said in a press note. “We'll begin rolling this out over the coming weeks.”
The updated Explore tab will also include links to IGTV and Shopping.
Written with inputs from IANS