Instagram just proved it is far from done with going after Snapchat. The photo app is adding live video and new messaging features that allow users to privately share disappearing messages outside of Stories, the company announced Tuesday. SEE ALSO: If'Harry Potter' characters had modern day technology The new messaging features, which are beginning to roll out now, essentially make Instagram Direct a lot more like Snapchat in that you can send disappearing photo and video messages to a friend, or groups of friends using the Stories camera. Just like Snapchat, the photos and videos you send to friends will disappear after they see them, though there are no time limits for how long they can be viewed in a single sitting. Instagram will even notify you if someone takes a screenshot or replays your message.
Instagram started out as a photo sharing app, but pretty soon it could be a one-stop shop for sharing photos, calling your friends and hosting video chats. Hidden code buried in the app shows that the Facebook-owned social media platform could be prepping video and voice calling features. The features would be added to the main Instagram app, as well as the standalone Direct messaging app, according to TechCrunch, which was tipped off to the code by reader Ishan Agarwal. Instagram may be adding new voice and video calling features to the app in the near future. It's been rumored for several months that Instagram may be prepping voice and video calling features, but the new code gives further credence to the fact that the tools could be hitting the app soon.
Instagram is overhauling its direct messaging feature, adding the ability to send disappearing videos and photos in group and individual messages in a bid to capture more of the ephemeral messaging phenomenon ushered in by competitor Snapchat. The updates to Instagram Direct are rolling out for Android and iOS users--now 375 million strong, Instagram says--with version 10.16 of the Instagram app. Once you update, you'll be able to swipe left to access Direct, where you'll see a new blue camera icon to add a disappearing photo or video to an existing message thread. This being Instagram, you can also add effects and filters (pictured above) before you send. When you've perfected your photo or clip, you then select the people or groups you'd like to send it to.
Instagram has decided to simplify its Direct feature by combining permanent and temporary messages in a single feed. In an effort to compete with Snapchat, disappearing photos and videos now appear alongside texts and reshares in the Direct tab of the Instagram app. The Facebook-owned company hopes the move will allow its users to keep track of their conversations. You can access the new feature by swiping in Direct on the Instagram app. You can send a disappearing photo or video by tapping the camera icon next to a thread, the blue camera bar at the bottom of the inbox, or the blue camera icon within a thread.
Instagram is reportedly developing a new app called'Threads' that is meant to encourage sharing with one's close friends. According to a report from The Verge's Casey Newton, Threads is being designed as a companion app to Instagram and will allows users to automatically share location, speed, and battery life as well as video, text, and photos. The Verge reports that the app is being test internally by Facebook. Instagram is working on a messaging app to rival Snapchat that can share location, battery life, and more. While Instagram already offers direct messaging in its app, The Verge suggests that the newest idea may be a concerted effort to help claim territory from rival photo and video messaging app, Snapchat.