Instagram Direct, after more than two years, is receiving a much-needed update.
The Facebook-owned company has announced new features are coming to its built-in messaging system, such as threaded messaging and the ability to send Instagram content as a direct message.
“Today’s updates also bring a brand new way to start conversations around what you see on Instagram,” reads an Instagram post. “When you find something inspiring or funny, your first instinct is often to share it with friends who you know will appreciate it. Today, people do this by @-mentioning friends in comments, so much so that nearly 40 percent of comments include an @-mention. This update has made it easier to share content that you love.”
Threaded messages make back and forth dialogue easier — and no more opening a new message just to send a photo or video. Now that can be done in an existing conversation.
You can also now name your groups, use the quick camera feature to respond with a selfie on the fly or use “larger-than-life emoji for when there are just no words.”
The update also adds an arrow next to the like and comment icons under every post. With a tap, you can send that post to a friend or group as a message using Instagram Direct. It will appear as part of your conversation, and you can tap the photo or video to see and like the original post. Hashtag pages and location pages can be sent with a tap of the arrow icon in the top right-hand corner.
The update ensures security remains tight as well.
“Photos and videos sent using Direct are only visible to people who could already see them,” Instagram said. “If the owner of a photo or video has their account set to private, only people who follow their account will be able to see it if it’s sent as a message in Direct. And, as always, you own your photos and videos — today’s updates do not change that.”