Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram has always maintained a priority for the mobile platform. So, it’s not uncommon to see new features coming to Instagram’s app first and then, if they are hit with the masses, they make their way to the desktop version of the photo-sharing platform too.
Following the same suit, another key feature of the Instagram app is now being tested on its web on mobile and desktop versions. We are talking about the Direct Message feature.
The news of the Direct Message feature being tested on the web on mobile and desktop versions of Instagram was first shared by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong on Twitter. He even shared a screenshot of the feature along with his tweet.
Instagram's Direct on Web will also be available on desktop pic.twitter.com/Y3iTIdDwKV
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) February 12, 2019
If you have ever used the desktop version of Instagram, you would know that as of now it’s very minimal and has comparatively fewer features than the mobile app. For instance, there is still no way to directly upload photos on Instagram’s desktop version and it even got support for browser notifications in September last year.
And there are some features, like adding stories, which are still not available on the mobile web or desktop versions of Instagram. We should mention that although Stories can be viewed in both of these versions of Instagram, they can only be added via the mobile app. And we don’t expect this to change too, as Instagram has said that it doesn’t have any “plans to let users upload photos or stories from the desktop.”
Considering this, getting the Direct Message feature is a big step forward for Instagram’s web version. After the company introduced the ability to send GIFs on Direct Messages in September last year, this is the big piece of news about the feature that we have got.
We should mention that Instagram has built a standalone messaging app called Direct, which is being tested in six countries since 2017. Direct Message feature coming to Instagram’s web version points towards the increased importance the Instagram team is giving to promote messaging among users on the platform. Or probably Instagram has seen that the feature is being used a lot and is now testing it on the web version to make it more user-friendly.
The move could also be related to Facebook‘s decision to merge Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram DMs into one platform. We would have to wait to find out. But for now, we can be happy about the desktop version of Instagram becoming more user-friendly.