Despite earlier speculation, Instagram failed to announce a print and deliver photo service at its press event yesterday. Though that would’ve been cool, especially for our hipsters, Instagram did launch something more practical.
Its new feature, Instagram Direct, is a way to share photos and videos directly to people, may it be one person or a small group of your friends. Not everyone on Instagram likes sharing everything with everyone, so this is a great new feature.
“As we’ve grown, Instagram has evolved not only into a community of photographers, but also into a means of visual communication. 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.”
“There are, however, moments in our lives that we want to share, but that will be the most relevant only to a smaller group of people—an inside joke between friends captured on the go, a special family moment or even just one more photo of your new puppy. Instagram Direct helps you share these moments,” Instagram wrote in its blog post.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how Instagram Direct works. Instagram designed it with users in mind, making use of the gestures they are already accustomed to.
The updated version of the Instagram app now features a new icon in the top right corner. That’s your Inbox, where you will see all the photos and videos sent to you by you. To use Direct, just tap the camera or video button to capture the perfect moment, add some filters if you wish, then when you are done editing, just tap on the next button at the top right corner to see the share page. On the share page, you’ll see the option to share with your followers or to specific people. Tap on Direct to share with specific people, and choose who from your connections you want to share the photo or video with.
With this new features comes the ability to see exactly who has seen the photos and videos you’ve shared, as well as the real-time interactions like comments, allowing you to join the discussion.