Photo-sharing service Instagram takes another step closer to becoming its own self-contained social network today with features aimed at the 85 million folks using Instagram Direct, which lets you send direct messages to individual users or groups of up to 15 people.
The new features include threaded messaging and a new way to share Instagram videos or photos within those direct messages.
Instead of having to start a new message each time you want to send a photo or video to your friends, Instagram has now provided a way to just drop into an existing conversation thread and continue it from there. In addition, you can now take and share response photos within threaded conversations and even name your message groups and use new large emoji to comment on your friend’s photos without using actual words.
You can now send any photos and videos via direct messages and not be limited to your own content. Now, anything on Instagram that hasn’t been marked Private can be shared through Instagram Direct. You’ll tap a curved arrow next to the heart and comment icons on any of these photos or videos to open a Direct message screen and send to your buddies. Your pal will then be able to see the original post with a tap. You’ll also be able to share hashtag and location pages, as well.
Don’t worry about the wrong people seeing your stuff, either.
“Privacy works the same way as it always has on Instagram,” says the Instagram Blog post announcing the new improvements. “Photos and videos sent using Direct are only visible to people who could already see them.”