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How to Use Instagram's New Direct Feature
By: Devon Travern
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Recently, Instagram introduced a new feature. Kevin Systrom, founder of Instagram, announced that the widely popular photo-sharing app now includes direct messaging. This feature will allow for users to send messages, photos, and videos directly to specific people. Originally, users were only able to post pictures and videos along with comments and likes. This new addition to Instagram has made the app much more interactive.

It is rather simple to access the new message option, called Instagram Direct. Once the Instagram app is open, take a picture as you normally would. After you navigate through that ever-so-entertaining filter screen, click next. Here’s where the newly added direct message option will appear. You have two choices here. You can select “Followers,” which will allow you to post your photo to your timeline per the usual. The other option is to select "direct." Once you select that option, you can choose which of your followers to send this your exclusive video or photo to.

Users can send their direct messages to up to 15 people at one time. Instagram even takes the liberty of suggesting whom you might want to send it to. Now of course, there stands a chance of some users abusing this new option and sending unwanted messages to whomever they follow. For those who require more privacy, you are in luck. As long as your profile is set to private, any incoming messages from people you don’t follow will be marked as a request instead of an actual message in your inbox. However, if you are mutually following someone, the message will be received as normal.

What makes the new Instagram Direct option so great is that it really opens the door to make new connections like never before. Users can find common ground through experiences such as travel, sports, education...the list goes on. Photo sharing has already connected millions of users just because they can see their similarities to complete strangers through photos alone. Family members will be able to share videos and photos at the drop of a dime. Think about those holidays and vacations you experience every year. You can now share those intimate moments with those closest to you.

For our favorite brands on Instagram, this is a great opportunity to maximize the customer service experience. Customers now have the opportunity to photograph or record unsatisfactory products and communicate directly with the brands associated with them. Across the board, Instagram Direct will be an outstanding addition to the way we all communicate with each other. The pros most definitely outweigh the cons, which center around user privacy. Other than that, Instagram Direct stands to be accepted with open arms by the millions of Instagram Users around the world. User engagement is going to skyrocket and brand engagement will do the same, providing for an all-around Instagram experience worth having day in and day out. If you haven’t yet, hit your App or Playstore and update that Instagram!

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About the Author
Devon Travern is a student of all that surrounds him. He believes in the world's need for innovation and forward thinking. With a BA in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensbroro, his passion lies in social media and branding. As Founder and Editor-in-Chief of LiveInspired Magazine, Devon is focused on sharing the stories of up-and-comers set to revolutionize the way we live. As a freelance social media strategist and branding consultant, he has also played a role in helping to build and establish the brands of companies such as KadoNYC, Gallium Digital Agency, and No Hassle Co. A cultural connoisseur and a visionary, Devon seeks to help others realize their potential while reaching his at the same time
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