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Instagram Putting an End to its Standalone Messaging App ‘Direct’

Direct was the second time Instagram borrowed an idea from Snapchat; it had earlier launched a ‘Stories’ feature in 2016

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Instagram
Instagram app logo is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. VOA

Facebook-owned photo-messaging app Instagram is putting an end to “Direct”, its standalone camera-first messaging app which was used to send Instagram direct messages.

“In the coming month, we’ll no longer be supporting the ‘Direct’ app. Your conversations will automatically move over to Instagram, so you don’t need to do anything,” a message popping up on the app reads.

The announcement was first spotted by social media commentator Matt Navarra, The Verge reported.

Instagram
Kevin Systrom, CEO and co-founder of Instagram, prepares for Wednesday’s announcement about IGTV in San Francisco, June 19, 2018. (VOA)

First launched in December 2017, the app came in with plenty of Snapchat-style filters, but it also allowed users to swipe down from the top of the screen to type messages to their Instagram contacts.

The app was initially launched in six countries — Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey and Uruguay — but it appears to have never rolled out globally.

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Instagram’s reasons for shutting down the app remain undisclosed, the report added.

Direct was the second time Instagram borrowed an idea from Snapchat; it had earlier launched a ‘Stories’ feature in 2016. (IANS)

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Instagram Adding Support for Videos Shot in Landscape Mode

Earlier in February, the app added previews of IGTV videos as part of the main feeds on the home page

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Instagram
Instagram app logo is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. VOA

In yet another attempt to keep its long-video supporting IGTV feature afloat, Facebook-owned photo-messaging app Instagram has added support for videos shot in landscape mode.

“We’ve heard from creators who want to upload landscape videos for IGTV. Similarly, we’ve heard from viewers who come across landscape videos in IGTV but want to watch them in a more natural way. That’s why we’re announcing support for landscape videos in addition to vertical,” the company wrote in a blog-post on Thursday.

According to Instagram, the step was required to make IGTV more free of a platform for creators to express themselves however they want.

instagram
With a 1-billion user-base worldwide, the app still does not allow web users to post Stories from the desktop. Pixabay

“Landscape has its strengths, especially when it comes to formats like dance and sports which are high motion and often feature a handful of people in frame,” the post said.

Launched in 2018, the long-form video hub IGTV that lives inside both a homescreen button in Instagram as well as a standalone app, has failed to gather the expected response.

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Recently, the Instagram copied TikTok and Snapchat in terms of their use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and interface design on IGTV.

Earlier in February, the app added previews of IGTV videos as part of the main feeds on the home page. (IANS)