Instagram has today released two major updates to their product: Instagram live video and disappearing photos and videos for groups and friends in Instagram Direct. instagram direct is a chat . . .
The second feature Instagram have debuted today is disappearing photos and videos within Instagram Direct. In a move that again edges Instagram ever closer to Snapchat, Instagrammers will be able to send disappearing photos and videos directly to groups and individual friends.
Since Instagram made improvements to the way to their direct messaging system worked last year, the number of people who use Instagram Direct each month has grown from 80 million to 300 million — with many of these users turning to group threads every day to stay in touch with their closest friends and family.
To send an ephemeral photo or video simply swipe right into the camera to take a photo or video, then tap the arrow to send it privately:
After clicking on the arrow to send the message you can choose a pre-existing group to send it to or create a new one in just a few taps — and you can also send to individual friends at the same time. These messages disappear from the recipient’s inboxes once they have viewed them once. And you’ll also see if they replayed it or took a screenshot.
It’s also worth noting that, whether your account is set to public or private, you can only send disappearing photos and videos to people who follow you.
Once this update is live for you, you’ll notice a new paper airplane icon at the top right corner of your feed – this will take you directly to your inbox – alternatively, you can also swipe right to get to your inbox. Disappearing photos and videos in a bar at the top, similar to the way stories are displayed in the main Instagram feed.
Within the bar, blue rings will indicate new disappearing messages. Instagram Direct will remember your groups. So if you send an Instagram story to three people, Instagram saves that group in your Direct inbox so you can keep the thread going easily, rather than replying to each person in the group individually.
Another great group messaging feature is that in a group message, you can see everyone’s responses — and who else has seen them — in a slideshow format. Then when you’re done, just tap their faded profile photo to send a quick response.
What are your thoughts on Instagram’s latest features? Are you excited to test out live video on Instagram? Will dissappearing messages threaten Snapchat at all? Share your thoughts in the comments and I’d be excited to join the conversation.