Photo-sharing platform Instagram has recently added a set of new features that has turned the network into a genuine messaging service set to shake up the playing field.
This recent update has made it easier for users of the mobile app to hold private conversations in both one-on-one and group scenarios, and even lets you send photos from the site in a private message.
As part of its service, Instagram Direct was launched in December 2013 to present users with the option of sending messages privately instead of commenting on a photo with the familiar ‘@’ mention. However, this did not really take off, with it being fairly limited in terms of what it could achieve. This is now set to change with these limitations being adapted and changed to allow users to do much more.
The new threaded conversation function makes it a lot easier for users to have a private conversation, with the site seemingly trying to feed off the success of other messaging platforms such as WhatsApp.
The photo-sharing site is owned by another global social media phenomenon in the form of Facebook, which bought the site back in 2012 for $1bn (£629m). It has become evident in recent times that Facebook is trying to overtake its competitors, with messaging being at the forefront of this strategy.
The social networking giant has already developed its own standalone messaging app, Messenger, and successfully purchased WhatsApp before a failed attempt at purchasing Snapchat.
With Instagram adding these new messaging features, will it take over as the newest platform for digital messaging? The site has recently announced that it has a user base of 300 million, of which 85 million used its messaging services before the update. With the upgrade now available of both Android and iOS versions of the app, this could be set to change.