Facebook is shutting down Direct, a standalone camera-first messaging app used to deliver Instagram direct messages.“In the coming month, we’ll no longer be supporting the Direct app,” read a message in the app announcing the shutdown.“Your conversations will automatically move over to Instagram, so you don’t need to do anything.” The announcement was first seen by social media commentator Matt Navarra.
First established in December 2017, Direct was a clear attempt by Instagram to shoot on Snapchat’s core performance. The app introduced into its camera, complete with plenty of Snapchat-style filters, but you might also swipe from the top of the screen to type messages to your Instagram contacts. Direct was the next time Instagram borrowed a concept from Snapchat; it also launched a Stories characteristic of its own in 2016 that’s since become a large part of its stage.
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) May 15, 2019
Instagram has not explicitly said why it is bringing its experiment with Direct to a finish. The app initially established in six countries (Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay), but it appears to have never rolled out globally.
An Instagram spokesperson stated that the company is“rolling back the test of the standalone Direct app” and can be “focused on continuing to make Instagram Direct the best place for fun conversations with your friends.” They added that all of the features from the Immediate app are now on Instagram. TechCrunch accounts that Instagram will keep working on Direct’s features, but they’ll no longer reside in another app.
When Direct first started, we speculated that it could mark the first step toward eliminating direct messaging in the heart Instagram app, like the manner Facebook eliminated the capability to send messages from the Facebook app in 2014 after launching Messenger. But, direct messaging remains alive and well in the Instagram app, even if it’s nevertheless absent from the Instagram site.
In the long run, Facebook plans to merge the messaging systems of Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook, enabling users on any platform to message those on the other. With these big changes coming, this was potentially the right time to finish Instagram’s standalone messaging app experiment.