Instagram today announced a major update to the Instagram Direct feature that it first introduced in 2013, allowing users to send threaded messages and content from their feeds through the private messaging function.
Prior to today, Instagram Direct could only be used to send a single photo privately to a friend or a group of friends, where it could be commented on away from the public eye. There was no way to share content from a user's feed to a direct message, and there were no conversation management tools, both feature oversights that Instagram has now corrected.
Following an app update, it will be possible to share a photo in your Instagram feed privately with a group of friends, a function that Instagram believes will replace the practice of @mentioning people to draw their attention to a particular photo.
A new arrow located next to the "Like" and "Comment" icons on each photo will allow an image to be sent to a friend or a group of friends through Instagram Direct.
Instagram Direct is also gaining threaded messages, making it easier to manage conversations. It will no longer be necessary to start a new conversation each time you want to share a photo or a video.
Threaded messages make it easier to go back and forth with the people you talk to the most. Instead of creating a new conversation every time you send a photo or video, your threads are based on the people in them -- and your moments flow along naturally. We've also added the ability to name your groups, a quick camera feature to respond with a selfie on the fly, and larger-than-life emoji for when there are just no words.
Instagram has introduced several significant changes to its service over the last few months. In addition to adding search capabilities to the web in July, the company also changed a signature feature last week, allowing users to upload portrait and landscape photos in addition to square photos.
Instagram can be downloaded from the App Store for free. The new update will be available as of today. [Direct Link]