There have been numerous reports in the past few weeks about Instagram launching a private messaging service before 2014. Today, CEO Kevin Systrom somewhat confirmed all that by announcing Instagram Direct.
This new service lets you share photos and videos with up to 15 friends. Think Snapchat meets Instagram (also think Snapchat competitor, like the way they gave Vine a run for their money back in June by adding video)
With this feature, you can share your photo or video with selected friends in the ‘Share To’ section of the app. There, you can select up to 15 of your friends to share your post with.
Every “moment” you share this way will be put in an inbox so they you see them on a separate feed. Of course, you can only send these to people you follow. If you don’t follow a user, they’ll get a request from you. Also, you can choose to receive direct moments from people without following them (not sure why you’d want to do that), and if you just don’t want to receive anything from there, the request will be left pending. When a user has seen your photo or video, you’ll see a check mark next to it. Users can also like each other’s moments. One thing to note is you can’t send these moments with just text. However, the you can send your photo or video with text like regular posts.