Instagram sent out invites to a special event in New York City taking place today, and the social network finally announced the ability to send private messages.
Called Instagram Direct, users will be able to send private photos or videos to people they’re following.
Here’s how it works:
- After taking a photo or video, there are two new tabs titled “Followers” and “Direct.”
- Tapping on “Direct,” you can select a specific friend or friends (up to 15) to message it to, and add a text message.
- Once a friend has seen your photo or video, a check mark will be added on top of their profile picture.
- Choosing the “Followers” tab simply posts your photo or video to the stream for all your followers to see.
Users can “like” messages which adds a heart to their profile picture, and to see messages sent to you, an inbox icon has been added to the top right of the Instagram app.
In order for a message to land in one’s inbox, you have to be following each other, otherwise your message will appear under “Pending Requests.”
Conversations will load in real-time similar to an IM conversation, and you have to add a photo or video to a private message in order to include text.
Instagram says an update is rolling out now to iOS and Android, and for Windows Phone users, the social network only says to stay tuned.