Instagram is aiming to make Snapchat less relevant by making its own direct messaging features easier to use. An app update coming out today streamlines chats by combining disappearing photos and video with the direct message feature.
Prior to this update, sharing disappearing photos and videos with someone or a group while also participating in a private conversation with them meant you had at least two independent chats happening. Now those parallel chats are combined into a single conversation where you see the temporary photos and video along with the private chat.
The idea is that carrying on private group chats is more convenient now. It’s also another move to draw people away from using rival social sharing network Snapchat.
The unified direct message features are available in Instagram 10.16, which is available as a free download at Apple’s App Store for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.