Introducing: Instagram Direct

In a secretive event held today Instagram announced one of the biggest technical developments in the company’s history. Called Instagram Direct, the technology gives users ways to share moments with smaller groups of people – not just their followers. It’s essentially a form of direct messaging Instagram pictures to individuals, or specific people. Only those people that you follow can send you pictures or videos directly, but there will be an inbox for those who don’t follow you where you’ll have to accept the image before you can see it; not surprisingly, Instagram recommends against accepting such unsolicited images. The move seems like a pretty obvious catch-up to Twitter DM and Snapchat, so whether users actually make the shift to using Instagram Direct – as opposed to these other, pre-existing apps – will be interesting to watch.