Instagram Upgrades Direct Messages with New Features

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Instagram has seen a lot of success in the last year simply by mimicking all of Snapchat’s most popular features, but the app’s latest upgrade pulls this time at least partially from its own family: Messenger.

Instagram Direct, the platforms formerly lackluster instant messaging feature, has been relaunched with upgrades that give it a look and feel much more similar to Facebook’s wildly popular Messenger app—though the inclusion of ephemeral content, a la Snapchat, was of course present.

“Texts and reshares will now appear in the same thread with disappearing photos and videos so you can seamlessly go back and forth with your friends,” the company announced today.

You can now swipe left into Direct and tap the new blue camera icon at the bottom to take a disappearing photo or video, or tap the blue camera icon in an existing thread. Swiping right from feed will take you directly to the camera.

According to Instagram, nearly 400 million users now engage with Direct, which is roughly one-third of Messenger’s active user base, and is a number that is growing by several million per month.

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