Instagram unveiled their newest update at their press release showing off their new feature Instagram Direct. Instagram Direct will allow users to send pictures and videos to certain followers instead of posting the pictures to their feeds. The feature directly challenges Snapchat’s business model and will take be interesting to see if people will be able to match the success of Snapchat.
The service differs from Snapchat because the pictures won’t be able to delete like Snapchat after a certain amount of time. Although pictures won’t delete, the new feature will allow people to see when people have viewed the picture, commented on the picture, and liked the picture. The service will also include features that allow you to deny pictures from people that you don’t follow. This way spam accounts can’t just send you pictures of things you wouldn’t want to see.
The new feature is being hit pretty hard by many top tech critics. First off, the pictures don’t allow for a constant conversation of pictures. If you send a picture to a friend, they have to start a whole new thread to send one back. To find old pictures sent to you, you will have to manually search through all of the updates on your account. Many people don’t really want a whole new messaging system on top of everything they already have. They already have Facebook, email, and texting to have full conversations, will they even use this new service?
Instagram doesn’t plan to monetize this new direct messaging system. They plan to focus on the ads they released last month and keep this as a feature for their users. It will be interesting to see if this is a utilized service of Instagram in the coming months or if the feature will end up being deleted in the end. Tt could go either way and only time will tell.