Instagram takes aim at Snapchat once more with update to its Direct messaging service

Instagram takes aim at Snapchat once more with update to its Direct messaging service

Instagram has revamped its Direct messaging feature to make it simpler for users to send Snapchat-style ephemeral messages within its walls.

From now on, disappearing photos and videos will appear in the same text threads as regular messages between users and their friends, with the aim of streamlining private conversations.

The Facebook-owned app unveiled the Snapchat-style update in a blog post on Tuesday (11 April), revealing that 375 million people now use the Instagram Direct each month.

The firm has created a video to demonstrate the changes, using the characters rock, paper and scissors to illustrate how the new function fits into the app.

The platform claims it "wants to make Direct the best place to have fun, visual conversations with your friends," but the latest update is likely to be viewed by some as a further challenge to Snapchat – which Instagram has taken cues from before.

In a bid to stave off competition for younger users from Snap, Instagram unveiled its own Stories service last year, which it claims is now used by 150 million people daily.

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