Instagram is planning to bring direct message support to the web, helping make its web experience more app-like. According to a new report from TechCrunch, Instagram is testing Instagram Direct on the web with support for desktop and mobile, including the iPad.
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The Instagram Direct design on the web that the company is currently testing is very similar to the in-app experience. In the upper-right corner, you’ll find the Instagram Direct icon. From there, you can tap it and access a full list of your messages. The feature was first discovered on Twitter by Jane Manchun Wong and can be seen below.
Instagram infamously lacks an iPad app, instead pushing users to rely on the web experience. This means it’s impossible to access Instagram Direct on the iPad without using the scaled-up iPhone app. Bringing support for Direct to the web will change that, even if it’s not the full iPad app many people are waiting for.
Instagram’s testing of Direct support on the web also comes as Facebook is reportedly planning to merge WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram messaging threads. Those who choose to rely on Instagram Direct would therefore need some way to access it outside the official Instagram app, which this provides.
As TechCrunch notes, increasing Instagram Direct usage would also allow Facebook to monetize it:
A web version could make Instagram Direct a more full-fledged SMS alternative rather than just a tacked-on feature for discussing the photo and video app’s content. While Facebook doesn’t monetize Instagram Direct itself, it could get users browsing through more ads while they wait for replies.
It’s unclear when exactly Instagram Direct support might launch on the web, but it will seemingly be sooner rather than later. Have you been waiting for Instagram Direct support on the web? Let us know down in the comments.
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