Facebook owned Instagram, is planning on erasing Direct as a standalone app. All chats will be moved across to the primary Instagram app instead, so it won’t be necessary for users to do anything in those regards. Instagram says that they’ll still be working on developments for direct, only they will no longer exist in the form of the standalone app. In addition to a web version of the messaging option, other attributes will include the means to view videos with others, and direct messaging encryption.
What went wrong?
The Direct app originally hit the scene at the end of 2017 to markets such as Italy, Chile, Uruguay, Turkey, Israel, and Portugal, but it’s unclear as to how many other markets Instagram extended the app to. At the time, Instagram said, “We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is a big part of that. To make it easier and more fun for people to connect in this way, we are beginning to test Direct, a camera first app that connects seamlessly back to instagram.” The iOS design notes the the app can be accessed in many other languages such as Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Swedish, Thai, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese. Seeing as Instagram didn’t do a lot to promote Direct, it didn’t make much headway in its active markets.
Facebook and Instagram have practiced extensively critical observations on how social platforms monitor abusive behaviors. Many have complained that Facebook apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp have not been made sufficiently autonomous, leaving them to consume too much data. But it seems that Direct simply wasn’t popular enough to survive in the world of messaging apps. Whether this was due to it being an inefficient app, or because Instagram didn’t do enough promotional work is unclear.
All things considered, the increase in popularity in general for apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp, indicates a stronger and more significant demand for messaging apps than Facebook might have previously imagined.