Recently, there’s been a lot of buzz in the news of CEO Evan Spiegel turning down a $3 billion offer from Facebook to buy his increasingly popular photo-sharing app. Well, Mr. Spiegel may now be rethinking his decision.
Introducing Instagram Direct, the ability for users to send and receive photos and videos during those moments that we want to share to only a select few. Unlike Snapchat where an image or video is delivered and is live for a maximum of 10 seconds, Instagram has added a whole new level onto it’s already expanding platform allowing users to more intimately share content that they already have on their phone AND to take images/video in real time — additions that could essentially wipe out a need for a platform like Snapchat.
Users on Instagram will now see a new icon in the upper righthand corner of the newsfeed. Once clicked, one can view pictures and videos from people who have directly Instagrammed them. If they want to directly Instagram their own friends, simply enter the normal camera button and click the button at the top of the screen to share with particular friends or “Direct.” After clicking “Direct,” one can choose the friends they want to share an image or video with, write a caption as normal and tap send to finish.
After sending content (and very similar to Snapchat), a user will be able to see who’s viewed the pic or video and see in real time who is commenting and liking it. Receiving a direct Instagram is just as easy. Anything that is directly sent to you will show up immediately, while content sent from a user that you’re not currently following will simply be sent into your requests box so one can choose to view it or not!
Bottom line? We think Mr. Spiegel must be shaking in his boots. Not only is this is a direct competitor using similar methods to send and receive images and video, but Instagram has taken it to a whole new level by integrating better ways of viewing engagement in real-time — and content isn’t lost in the inter-webs forever either.
For brands and businesses, this provides a distinctly unique way of marketing to customers. Simply take an image of a new product, coupon, etc. and directly Instagram it to a select group of followers, then track who’s seen it and the immediate engagement around it. We especially love how brands will be able to send direct Instagrams to followers who may not necessarily be following them back, therefore increasing their chances of having more eyes on particular messaging, etc. A brand’s reach is now much larger than before — and because many other social platforms don’t allow you to target posts or tweets in the same customizable way, Instagram just gained a few more points ahead of the competition!
Tell us: Will your company start using direct Instagrams in the future??