So Instagram has introduced Direct Messaging. Why? No, seriously, I have no idea why Instagram felt this to be a good idea. At no point in using Instagram, have I ever felt “Gee, I want to share this but with only a few people.” If I did think that, however, I would just text the photo directly to those individuals.
I get it though, they need to stay fresh and relevant. However with 150 million monthly active users, I do not see this as an issue. Some argue that they are trying to compete with Snapchat. This thought process sort of makes sense to me. But not for the reasons you are thinking.
We should not forget that Facebook acquired Instagram in the spring of 2012. Since this time very little, with the exception of video, has changed in the app. Another thing to not is Facebook has placed a lot of emphasis on peer to peer messaging lately, with overhauls of their messaging app and web-based chat client. Lastly, and probably the most important thing to note, Facebook recently failed in their attempt to acquire Snapchat. So by creating a direct messaging client within Instagram, they have pitted against Snapchat in peer to peer photo messaging. Difference being that all of my direct messages are saved where as Snapchat photos disappear after a set amount of time
interestingly in its most recent iOS update, Snapchat introduced the ability to replay one message a day. This is an obvious response to Instagrams ability to save messages. Also of interest to me, is that it seems that Instagram maybe taking on new competition with its messaging capabilities. Their new rival? An app called Tinder, but time will tell.
Needless to say, Instagram Direct certainly has its benefits. However, I feel it will eventually become a baron wasteland of pornbots and underage girls posting half naked photos to unsuspecting men. I hope I am wrong and I welcome anyone to point out its true benefits.