Instagram Is Currenty Testing A Direct Message Web Version

Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Instagram logo in this picture illustration
Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Instagram logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo)

Soon, Instagram users can exchange pictures and thoughts through direct message using a laptop or desktop. The photo-sharing app is currently testing the web version of Instagram Direct messaging so that people can do this without using their phone.

In an article published by TechCrunch, users on a desktop or laptop can finally access Instagram through a mobile web browser and they will be able to privately message other Instagram users. Before, users can only view photos and stories in the web version.

The Verge said in an article that App researcher Jane Manchun Wong tweeted a screenshot of the feature. Based on what she posted, the desktop version of Instagram is minimal and pared-down of the mobile app.

It also shows the Direct arrow icon on the top right of the desktop screen. The URL structure of Instagram Direct web version is Instagram.com/direct...

An Instagram spokesperson also told The Verge that the Instagram Direct web version is still not open for public use as they opted for internal testing. Wong also told TechCrunch that this new feature is still being internally "dogfooded" or only tested by employees to spot bugs and apply necessary product changes.

The article on TechCrunch suggested that the Instagram Direct web version might have ads while users are waiting for replies of the person that they are talking to. This is how Facebook could possibly gain profit from this web development given that they don't have plans to monetize it.

It also makes sense for Instagram Direct to have a web version, according to the TechCrunch article writer Josh Constine. He said that Facebook started first on the web before going mobile and getting its Messenger app on phone.

The web version of Instagram Direct could also mean that Facebook is slowly paving the way for the upcoming merging with Messenger and WhatsApp's backend infrastructure. This possible unification could expand encryption and allow cross-app to chat.

Instagram users, however, have to wait for other mobile app features on the web version. Despite the high demand and request, the web experience still can't let users upload photos and stories straight from the desktop.

Some users are demanding Instagram to let them upload stories from their desktop as an improved experience for them. Some of them said this request should take place soon especially that Instagram Story is already more popular than Snapchat, the mobile app that first started the 24-hour only pictures and videos.

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