Following the popularity of social media apps such as SnapChat and the introduction of images to Twitter’s direct messages, Instagram’s new feature Instagram Direct lets you send photographs directly to friends without sharing them with the rest of your followers.
Since the launch of Instagram in 2010, smartphone users have been enjoying enhancing photos of their cats and their dinner plates and sharing these “moments” with the world, as Instagram calls them. In fact, over 16 billion photos have been publicly shared through the app and on average a further 55 million photos are shared daily.
Instagram’s founder Kevin Systrom said, “Sometimes you want to be able to share not with everyone, but just with a specific group.”
With Instagram Direct users can choose to share their uploaded photos directly with up to 15 recipients. This new feature isn’t very original, but it certainly makes sense following the recent developments within SnapChat and Twitter.
While the new features will allow users to communicate with friends through photos, it also creates new ways for businesses to reach their audience.
Gap have already taken advantage of this in December when they ran a competition to win a denim tablet case. They asked the first 15 commenters on a post (pictured below) to send direct images of their outfits using Instagram Direct to them and posted out the prize to the winners after receiving the direct images.
Instagram also has a sponsored photos function for brands to advertise in users feeds, but Instagram Direct opens up possibilities for engaging consumers directly and building a memorable brand image.
So, what do you think? Will you be using this direct messaging function or are you likely to stick to other networks to share with friends?