At an event in New York City today, Instagram announced Instagram Direct, a new feature that allows users to share private photos and videos with their friends and loved ones. It will be baked into the existing Instagram app for Android and iOS with an update that’s rolling out today.
Instagram is already one of the world’s most popular photo sharing networks, with over 150 million users a month. But until now, everything you post is visible by all of your followers. With Instagram Direct, you can share more intimate photos and videos privately with only your friends and family.
You capture your photos and videos in the same way, but when you’re ready to share them, simply tap the “Direct” button at the top of the screen. You can then select up to 15 people to share your content with, and only those you select get to see it. These people can then “like” your upload, and make comments on it, and you can converse with them in private.
Check out the new promo video:
Direct provides Instagram with a compelling competitor to the media-sharing features baked into popular apps like WhatsApp and Viber. It’s already an incredibly successful service, and this seems like a logical step forward into private sharing; not everyone wants to share every photo they take with all of their followers, but they may want to share it with a few close friends.
Instagram Direct is rolling out today on Android and iOS, so keep an eye on the App Store and Google Play for the updates.