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Instagram Announces Instagram Direct
By: Jessica Cherok
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Congratulations Instagrammers! The wildly popular photo-sharing site announced its private messaging feature, Instagram Direct. Now you can send a photo or video to your Instagram cohorts (up to 15 of them) without having to post it for everyone to view.

The feature has been long rumored to be in the works, though Instagram, and its parent company, Facebook, have been largely silent up until the app release this Thursday.

Now, users can click on the inbox icon in the app and send photos and videos directly to their friends. Instagram’s privacy feature worked in an all-or-nothing way — either your profile was public and anyone could see your photos, or your profile was private, meaning only approved followers could see posts.

The new messaging feature allows you to have the best of both worlds — public profile for the photos you want to share; private posts for more personal materials. The messages can only contain text posted along with the photo or video; there is no text-only messaging.

Another bonus — Instagram Direct is (so far) ad free, though the company hasn’t ruled out ads coming to private messages in the future. Still, it seems unlikely since ads haven’t (again — yet) appeared in private messages in the Facebook app.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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