Facebook’s Instagram Direct Launches As Instant Messaging Service

Facebook owned Instagram has launched Instagram Direct, which enables users to post updates to groups of 15 or less people, rather than having to broadcast to every follower.

Instagram has undergone some significant changes in the past few months, including the addition of video sharing and adverts. However, the site remains, at its heart, a photo driven mobile sharing service. It is aimed at mobile users, and it continues to encourage the sharing of photos, by requiring a photo at the beginning of every message thread. The Facebook owned company has launched another new service, which will ensure that users are able to post updates and share photos with a select group of followers, rather than having to send updates to everybody.

The Instagram service has around 150 million users, and half of those users apparently share photos every single day. If you enjoy looking at pictures of what people had for tea, there are few better sites or services than Instagram. Facebook clearly saw the benefits, when it bought the service for $1bn in April 2012. There were many raised eyebrows over the cost of the acquisition at the time, and it still remains to be seen whether it was money well spent or not.

In October it was announced that the Instagram photo sharing website would be following the likes of Facebook by displaying advertising as a means of monetizing their incredibly large user base.

This latest move means that Instagram will have fierce competition from other services and companies. While they already compete with photo sharing sites, they will now go head to head with one of the brightest emerging social media stars, Snapchat. Snapchat enables users to post a message that disappears after a set period of time has lapsed, and they have reportedly turned down offers as high as $3bn from the likes of Facebook.

Are you a regular Instagram user?
What do you think of Instagram ads?
Are you tempted to sign up now that you can use Instagram Direct to private message?

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