Instagram is testing a standalone messaging app called Direct

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Similarly, you can swipe into Direct from Instagram just as easily. The list of countries includes Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay. Along with your regular feed, there's the Instagram Explore Tab for finding photos the app thinks you're interested in, a Stories feature taken straight from Snapchat, live streaming, and the ability to send direct messages to other users.

Like its parent company Facebook, moving Direct out of its core app could turn out to be quite successful for Instagram in the long run. The camera interface in Direct comes with four exclusive photo and video filters not found in the main Instagram app. Users will have to decide how much they want those new filters, though.

Instagram has reportedly yet to attach a time frame for separating Direct Messages from its popular mobile app, though that appears to be a long-term goal for the company and one that's expected to be achieved at some point in 2018. Instead, you'll have to DM your friends through Direct. Installing Direct means the inbox disappears from the Instagram app. When Facebook originally moved Messenger out of Facebook, the company faced a lot of backlash but it has been able to exponentially grow Messenger ever since.

The Verge reports Instagram is now testing Direct in five countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay. As of April 2017, Instagram Direct, still married to the Instagram app, had around 375 million active monthly users.

Instagram is using the same argument as Facebook did in 2014 to justify a standalone app. Now it has over 1.3 billion.

Available now as part of a test in six select countries.

The Direct app's inbox can be accessed by swiping to the right, while the profile section can be accessed by swiping to the left. If Instagram decides to release Direct globally, it could become the next big private messaging platform right next to Facebook's Messenger.

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