Instagram is testing Direct - their new standalone app for direct messaging

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Instagram confirmed today that they are testing a new standalone app called Direct.

The app is currently available in Chile, Uruguay, Turkey, Italy, Portugal and Israel only. 

The app will roll out globally in all countries in 2018 after Instagram gathered enough feedback and fixed all the bugs.

The Instagram Direct app will let you create and share stories and access exclusive filter. 

This is probably another initiative to keep slowing down Snapchat' growth. 

We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is a big part of that. To make it easier and more fun for people to connect in this way, we are beginning to test Direct – a camera-first app that connects seamlessly back to Instagram.
— Instagram
Jules Marcoux