Instagram 'Reinvents' The Picture Message

Hey, did Instagram happen to notice that $3 billion offer Facebook made for Snapchat? Um, we think so: Instagram has just launched Instagram Direct, a picture-messaging tweak that allows users to take a photo, upload it to Instagram, choose from filters aplenty, and then send it to just a select user — instead of sharing it with either everyone, your approved friends, or nobody at all.

With the new person-to-person app tweak, Instagram acknowledges that maybe we don't want to do the social-network equivalent of a mass-text every time we take a selfie. Sometimes, Instagram recognizes, people want to share "moments" that only some people might care about. Like a photo of every single Christmas tree that you pass, your couples' selfie, or your poached eggs.

The announcement was posted today via a press release on the Instagram blog.

From a photo of your daily coffee to a sunrise shared from the top of a mountain hike, every Instagram moment contains something you find special—something you broadcast to your followers when you tap “share.”

It's similar to Snapchat in the sense that both offer a private picture-messaging service, but with Instagram your photos won't evaporate.

And Instagram makes it easy to do so: Just hit "Direct" instead of "Followers" on the post-picture-edit share screen. Then pick the people you want to send it to. And then, um, send it. Like a picture message. And then people will receive it in their Instagram inbox, and look at it, and maybe even like it. If it's not the fourth mocha of the week.

Gap was the first brand to get involved, wasting no time inviting its followers to send the brand private messages.

The main benefit we can discern from this Instagram picture-messaging service is that it works just like a picture-messaging service, but with filters, and should therefore be easy to use. Sure, picture-messaging has been around since the 90s — but Instagram's re-inventing it, dontcha know?

[Image: Instagram]