Around the Horn: Instagram Direct

Instagram added a new feature to their app called Instagram Direct. It’s useful, fun, and sort of obscene. Let’s go around the horn and figure out what it is, what it’s good for, what it smells like, etc.

What It Is: A Way To Send Photos Within the Instagram App
You get a photo (either by taking or side-loading one), filterize it, select who you want to share it with, and push the little ‘send’ button in the top right hand corner. Simple. How does it differ from photo text message? It doesn’t.

What It Isn’t: A Snapchat Competitor
The web keeps saying “It’s Facebook’s Snapchat competitor!” Nope, it’s Chuck Testa not. Snapchat is a photo messaging app who’s primary distinguishing feature is the self-destructing photo. Since Instagram Direct’s photos do not self-destruct, it doesn’t compete with Snapchat. They’re in the same space, sure, but it’s not a direct competitor.

What It Is: Part of Facebook’s Master Plan to Take Over The World
I know you thought Facebook was a benevolent being trying to make your life better for the good of humanity, but such is not the case. Facebook’s main goal is to keep you spending as much time on their site as possible. Your attention is what Facebook is after. This is why Instagram added a photo messaging portion, to keep you using the app as much as possible. If Facebook has their way you’ll soon be able to make phone calls, access maps and pay your taxes from inside the Instagram app.

What It Isn’t: Um…
Instagram Direct is rather useful and very well executed. So well executed, in fact, I’m having difficulty coming up  things that it isn’t. I think I’ll just write things that it is clearly not. Instagram Direct is not a new mapping system which directs you from place to place.

What It Is: A New Venue For Naked Selfies.
Let’s not beat around the bush (he he), as soon as photo sharing turns private, it becomes the perfect venue for risqué photos. Maybe it’s a innocuous-turned-scandalous wet t-shirt contest, or maybe a slight breeze blew an Amish girl’s dress up to reveal a bit of ankle. Either way, Instagram Direct is perfect for sharing racy snapshots.

What It Isn’t:
Instagram Direct is not the name of a sailboat.

What It Is: A Fantastic Collaborative Tool
If you’re working on your latest instacollab, sending your photos to-and-from using Instagram Direct is a great way to collaborate. In fact Instagram Direct is so useful you can send private contact information, private feedback, really anything you like. It unlocks an entire world of private information sharing. Why just the other day I traded contact info with a new-to-LA Instagrammer and we met for coffee later that day. Instagram Direct allowed us to swap numbers without worrying that prying eyes would snatch the digits and text us unwanted and crazy things.

Wrap Up Reactions
-1st Instagram Direct Photo was a selfie (of my friend) with the caption “just tryin’ to see how this thing works.”
-2nd Instagram Direct Photo was a a photo of Nighthawks followed by the caption “Just trying to figure out this direct thing.”
-3rd Instagram Direct Photo was a photo of my guy friend lying down on his bed with the caption “Time for sexting y’all!”


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