From there, you've got one-tap access to Instagram's face filters (including four exclusive ones) and a pull-down menu that lets you type messages.
"We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is an important part of that", Instagram product manager Hemal Shah said.
Facebook now operates two of the world's most popular messaging apps in Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp that both have more than a billion active users. I would miss the lack of messaging facility in the main Instagram app but if it means there is even a small possibility that Stories goes away from it and we go back to the good old days of pre-Facebook Instagram then I'm completely fine with it. It's now being tested in only six countries: Chile, Israel, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay.
Instagram confirmed it was testing a new app to Quartz.
The new app's structure feels a lot like Snapchat: When users open it, the camera pane will open, emphasising the app's focus on creating new material (photos and videos) to share.
Interestingly, Instagram is also including a quick way to switch between the Direct app and Instagram proper. While the app is more oriented toward sharing images, swiping up on the camera interface will also allow you to send regular text messages to individuals or groups. All you have to do is swipe left once you are in the Direct inbox to reveal Instagram icon which will direct you to the Instagram app. Instagram did not originally have private messaging at all when it first launched in 2010, and the platform still lacked messaging all the way up to the end of 2013, when the feature was added as a way to keep up with Snapchat.
In case, Instagram launched Direct globally, for which no current timeline has been given so far, Facebook would become an owner of the third famous messaging tool alongside WhatsApp and Messenger.
Direct is super similar to Facebook Messenger, which shouldn't be particularly surprising - since Facebook took over Instagram, more and more similarities have been popping up between the two. Whether that happens later or not remains to be seen but it makes sense for it to be within the messaging app.