Facebook’s new Instagram update makes the app act more like a messaging app. Now, Instagram users can see when their friends were the last update in the Direct Messaging section of the app. It works very much like WhatsApp as well, in that users can turn this off for more privacy, but will also lose the ability to see their friends active statuses as well. This feature is available for iOS, Android and Windows 10.
It’s worth noting at this point that Facebook is also testing a standalone messaging client for Instagram called Direct. Much like the social media company did with Messenger, this will pull Direct Messaging away from the main Instagram app, and silo it into its own feed for those who are more interested in using Instagram like Snapchat. Facebook has been beta-testing that app in a few limited countries on Android and the iPhone.
This new update just brings Facebook one step closer towards spinning Instagram into a messaging platform all its own.
Thanks for the tip, Ben Ward.