The Future of Mobile

Instagram's latest Snapchat clone combines disappearing and permanent messages

Tyrone Stewart

Instagram DirectInstagram has made an update to the way its Direct messaging feature works. In the latest version of the app, texts and reshares appear in the same thread as disappearing photos and videos – because Facebook hasn’t yet got bored of changing all its platforms into Snapchat.

Instagram Direct now enables users to tap a blue camera icon, while messaging their friends, to take a disappearing photo or video and send it to the chat. Users are able to keep track of who has seen messages through notifications within the thread.

Disappearing messages are highlighted blue in users’ inboxes, and each can be replayed once. Instagram notifies the sender if a message has been replayed or screenshotted by a friend.

“We’re launching the new Direct to make it fast and easy to turn any conversation into a visual conversation with photos and videos,” said Instagram in a blog post. “We want to make Direct the best place to have fun, visual conversations with your friends.”

Instagram claims that the number of people using Direct has grown from 300m to 375m since November 2016.