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Instagram Direct launches as a way to take on Snapchat and share private photos

News by Andrew Kameka on Thursday December 12, 2013.

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Facebook-owned Instagram has seen Snapchat rise as a major competitor because of its self-destructing private photo-sharing features. Instagram today has countered with a new feature that lets members share photos or videos with a select group of people.

Instagram Direct turns Instagram into a private sharing service whenever someone feels like sending a photo or video without only friends and family, coworkers, or a set of friends who might appreciate it. For instance, I'm going to a wedding and only want to share photos with a handful of my friends who know the groom. Instagram Direct lets me choose to post to Followers, the public view that has always been available, or to specific people in the Direct section. Shared content then appears in that person's newly created inbox, and everyone who has been granted access to the content can like or comment on it.

The Android and iPhone versions of Instagram will update today to include the new Direct feature. Windows Phone users will have to wait until a later date to gain access to these features. Once Android or iPhone users install the latest version of Instagram, they will be able to send an Instagram Direct to one person or as many as 15 people.

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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