When installed, the inbox from the core Instagram app disappears and is replaced by the new standalone app.
The Verge reports Instagram is now testing Direct in five countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay. Similarly, you can swipe into Direct from Instagram just as easily. No timeline for a larger rollout has been given although if that were to become the end game, Facebook would find itself with a third popular messaging app alongside Messenger and WhatsApp and plenty of additional opportunities to serve ads to generate revenue. "Direct has grown within Instagram over the past four years, but we can make it even better if it stands on its own", Hemal Shah, a product manager at Instagram, told The Verge. When you open Direct, it goes straight to the camera - perhaps in an effort to condition you into creating and sharing content. Most of the features that are in the Direct app can already be found on the current Instagram app. The Verge reports that the app has three screens-the camera screen, a profile screen, and your inbox.
Instagram calls Direct a camera-first messaging service, but it's still unclear what path it is going to take (if it gets out of this experimental phase at all). For starters, it's another big step in Instagram's metamorphosis from photo sharing site, to broader social networking platform. Since Instagram is also positioning Direct as a camera-first app, it also comes with four exclusive filters which aren't available in the main Instagram app. You can even go further and swipe to the right once more to open Instagram. Hopefully, the same thing doesn't happen to Instagram Direct. A similar feature is also present in the Instagram app to quickly jump into Direct.
You hated Facebook a few years ago when it removed Messenger functionality from the main app, only to launch a standalone messaging app that you've probably ended up using all the time.