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Instagram launches 'Direct' to easily share content with others; coming to Windows Phone

Instagram is one of those social services that many people simply can't live without. Sharing photography with friends and family can create magical moments for people, through locations, events and other situations. Now that we've finally got a Windows Phone app available on the store, Instagram has now announced a new feature - Instagram Direct.

So what exactly is Instagram Direct? Think of it as an easy way to send photo and video messages to friends. This direct and more personal approach to sharing content is perfect for those moments with friends where inside jokes or simply a relevant event occurring is best shared within a smaller group of people.

It's essentially a feature for when you'd rather enjoy the moment with select people (up to 15 recipients) instead of all your followers. Instagram Direct enables you to restrict access and have some control over who sees the image or video.

Here's how the new Instagram Direct looks like on iOS.

The company has released an update for official apps on iOS and Android, while Windows Phone is stated to receive future updates and consumers are recommended to stay tuned - sorry, no ETA. The update will introduce a new inbox where you'll see photos and videos shared with you. Sending content to others will be just as easy too, simply tap the camera icon as you normally would, but as well as the option to share with "Followers," you will also be able to choose specific people with "Direct."

You can then select who you'd like included in the unique group and fire away. Once the image or video has gone into cyberspace, you'll be able to see who's liked it and see comments populate in real time, which is pretty neat. Content you receive from people you follow will appear automatically, while those who you do not follow will sit in the requests pile for you to decide whether you wish to view it or not - a nice safety filter.

Check out the following video for a quick look at what Instagram Direct is all about:

​If you haven't already got the official app installed on your Windows Phone, be sure to grab it from the store (QR code below). While the Windows Phone version (which is in beta still) doesn't sport this feature just yet, we can't imagine the service leaving its users in the dark for long. We'll be sure to let you all know when Windows Phone gets the update.

We've reached out to Instagram regarding the Windows Phone update and will update you all accordingly.

Source: Instagram Blog

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

75 Comments
  • Instagram is positioning themselves against WhatsApp and Snapchat. That's what this is all about.
  • Seems like a Path-ish feature, too.
  • I say closer to twitter than snapchat, but the better question is when will Rudy add it to 6tag lol
  • Its not a chat client, I wont load instagram to send a photo to someone I am chatting with in whatsapp when I can do it right there in whatsapp.
  • You should read the stats on WhatsApp.  A lot of people are using it to send images and video. Instagram is not dumb.
  • Yes I use whatsapp it to share images all the time, but why would I switch to instagram? It doesn't offer chat, I don't care for likes when I am sending images to family or friends. I don't care for likes in general :) I guess I have to really be into sharing photos with people without chatting to care for this. Can't wait for them to start popping ads. in those direct photos in instagram. In any case, I think Skype needs to up their game and be the go to chat app.
  • "Yes I use whatsapp it to share images all the time, but why would I switch to instagram? It doesn't offer chat"
    All I read in your comment was "I, I, I, I..." This isn't about convincing you on what you to prefer or what you should use. It's about general trends and the public in regards to how their using apps these days. WhatsApp has become the top app for directly sending images to other users on mobile devices. It doesn't matter what you want, it matters what the general trends are, which is what my original point is about.
  • Correct, I am stating my opinion as a user of the app, it's not my job to speculate on trends and business decisions.
  • If people don't use it, leave it. Why to comment more on this.
  • Also, video and audio sharing (at least on the other platforms). I understand whatsapp has impressive statistics for image sharing but they aren't, in majority, cases of image sharing where people just send across images simply. In fact, these features we enjoy on whatsapp are value added features to an otherwise bland conversation. Instagram direct might do well but it can't really take on whatsapp in this sense. If they decide to innovate in some manner, they could take on snapchat (i have my own doubts about how long snapchat will sustain)
  • But he's right in parts, as long as it doesn't offer messaging, it isn't really competitive. But You're right, they seem focused on twitter. Vine launches, and they release instagram video. Twitter offers photos via DM, 2 days later indtagram gets the ability to send videos..
  • How do you save pictures in instagram on WP?. Previously I was using Instance and it has function to save pics
  • I'd imagine since that's illegal there isn't such an option. I could be wrong of course.
  • How is that illegal in any type of way. Sheeesh.
  • Shouldn't be, I agree. But it is. Strange laws abound.
  • I know. Weird. It's as if some photographers think that's like...a job or something. How bizarre to think some people would rather protect their property right? /sarcasm
  • Images taken in Instagram are copyright to the photographer. It's a weird concept...but not all photographers want greedy people stealing their images and potentially misusing them. I know. Makes no sense. Nah, in seriousness, as a photographer I'd really rather people didn't download my photos. But it might be nice to see an added choice feature on the part of the photographer. Photo services like flickr have this option and it does come in handy.
  • That's because it was a 3rd party app. Official apps don't have this feature.
  • Screen shot
  • = bad quality.
  • 6tag has more features than the official app, and a better UI in my opinion. Its a better app for Instagram.
  • If I had a dollar every single time someone has said this...
  • You could buy me a WP8 phone and my app suffering could stop. :(
  • Coming to WP in 2015? First update the app to add all the features missing. $1B worth but they cant develope 3 versions for the app?
  • To be fair to Instagram, they did take a very long time to port the app from iOS to Android,  nearly two years in fact, and Android had significantly more market share then than Windows Phone has now. It only took another 18 months to port to Windows Phone, so they haven't really taken that long all things considered.
  • Can't or won't? Big difference there.
  • I think if Instagram was really interested on WP they already have been released a update for his app after weeks of release...
  • We'll see...
  • Yep, as someone already said, a Path-ish feature (that I really appreciate!). Im still waiting for Path too..
  • Yet another messenger...
  • Now I can send pics of my Peter in private
  • Hopefully Rudy gets this soon
  • Watch 6tag get updated next week.
  • Obviously! ;)
  • Rudy please get on this asap LOL
  • Direct is code for sextagram for teens.
  • Nice....
  • Yeah, don't be fooled, people, this is just Instagram trying to get the market on sexting. Porn amongst people that are more than friends. Not complaining at all, mind you, no problem with it, just don't get mad when your next ex whatever starts posting all those pics you sent. Your privates aren't private on the net. As always, follow the money and it will lead to sex.
  • I see the angle but Instagram has a strict policy against posting nudity to your account. The lead singer of the Flaming Lips famously had his account terminated due to artsy nudes--they didn't hesitate to wipe his whole account. While you can use this for 'sexting', seeing as Instagram hosts these on their servers and they don't expire and they have strict rules on nudity, that just doesn't seem to be their motive here.
  • Well, if they're going to have the same policy regarding both the public and private images one puts on their account, what's the point? They're not giving the user the freedom to express, they're only giving the user the ability to keep others from seeing. Can't you already do that with Facebook, etc.? I'm not a social media animal, so I don't know firsthand, but don't most already have a way to keep others from seeing things? I suppose if the user agreement is different in any way, that will be the proof in the pudding (so to speak). Doesn't Instagram also have the policy of "what you post on your account we own."?
  • Nobody can stop people from doing bad things. If not instagram, they have many other media to do that. So it is up to individuals.
  • I prefer to sexually harass people in person.
  • Hmm. Idk why they can't develop 3 app in one time, instead they go for Android and iOS first. :/
  • Rudy, can you give us some help here? :)
  • I like this update, it's a welcomed feature. I don't use whatsapp or Facebook and none of my friends do, so maybe this will be a way for me to share pics with my friends. Only problem is the square cropping...
  • Wp7.x version please :)
  • It will never happen
  • Shouldn't they be updating the beta regularly with bug fixes and optimisations at the very least?
  • Exactly...
  • I wonder how well they've done on app downloads since the launch with so many people wanted it on WP?
  • I imagine pretty damn well judging by the amount of comments per day/article posted here on WP Central before we actually got the "official" app. So many people wanted it lol.
  • Can you send a message with instagram?????
  • Anyone?
  • The obvious and unhelpful response is "A picture says a thousand words."
  • Meh ....everyone wants  a piece of the messaging pie ........I am still waiting for MS to fix the damn skype on windows 8 and wp8
  • Rudy will probably add this to 6tag tonight.. Lol
  • I hope so lol
  • Why not just send e-mails??  :-/
  • Hey Daniel any idea when we are getting watsapp mega update???
  • What's different from sending pic and video from Watsapp ?....
  • I have to confess; I CAN live without instagram.. so can many others. Believe that!
  • I just don't see what this brings to mobile that doesn't already exist in many other apps/systems. #ReinventingTheWheelWithoutReinventing
  • Too many people wrapped up in their own little worlds to see the big picture here.
  • Sure its not making money, shut er down
  • Can anyone help me out? How do I sign out of instagram on Windows Phone?
  • One does not simply "sign out" of Instagram on Windows Phone.
  • Would you care to mention any possible options?
  • that awkward moment when a Tech Knowledge doesn't know how to signout Instagram on Windows Phone.
  • I actually thought about "that awkward moment" before asking. I was expecting the ridicule. I was also expecting an answer/solution. :-)
  • open instagram, tap the 3dot on the right bottom(settings), then tap the 3dot again, you'll see log out option.
  • Yay!!!! Thanks :-) And now back to 6Tag.
  • Coming to WP in the next decade.
  • +920
  • Wow theyve taken it from snapchat! I feel sorry for snapchat that instagram is really ripping them off! And yea next decade haha +925
  • Instagrams a waste of storage