The development team behind photo sharing website Instagram has just announced a new feature to their already feature rich application: Instagram Direct.

It’s designed to let you share photos exclusively with people you choose to. News outlets are calling it the death of SnapChat, while I believe it was only a matter of time before such feature appeared. The technology for Instagram Direct is nothing new and has been available for a long time.

In the recent years Instagram has grown to server over 150 million users, these users have shared enormous amount of photographs with the public. Billions of timeless moments have been captured in photographs by artists, creatives and photographers alike. There are moments however, which we wish to keep to ourselves and only share with a chosen few, like our family members and close friends.

Instagram Direct lets you do just that, it enables private sharing of photographs with up to 15 people of your choice. Below is a small excerpt from the offical Instagram blog.

From how you capture photos and videos to the way you start conversations though likes and comments, we built instagram direct to feel natural to the Instagram experience you already know. When you open Instagram, you’ll now see a new icon in the top right corner of your Home Feed. Tap it to open your inbox where you’ll see photos and videos that people have sent to you. To send a photo or video to specific people, tap the camera nutton to enter the same simple p hoto or video capture and editing screens. At the top of the share screen, you’ll see the option to share with your followers (followers) or to send to specific people (direct). To send using direct, tap the names of the people you want to send your photo or video to, write your caption, tap ‘send’ and you’re done.

How Instagram Direct Works

After sharing a photo/video you will be able to see exactly who has viewed your picture, who has liked it and experience real time conversations. Photos received from person who do not follow you will require your permission before being displayed, protecting you from personal space invasion.

How To Use Instagram Direct

The Instagram Direct help page has it all laid out in very understandable manner, but for the time saving sake I am going to excerpt the first answer, how to use Instagram Direct?

Instagram Direct lets you send a photo or video to a select group of people. Posts won’t appear in feed, search or your profile.

To send photos/videos with Instagram Direct:

  1. Take a new photo/video or upload a photo/video from your camera roll.
  2. Add optional effects, filters and a caption.
  3. Tap Direct. You’ll see some features appear in green when you’re using Instagram Direct.
  4. Tap the names of people you want to send the photo/video to (up to 15 people).
  5. Tap Send.

The people you’ve sent the post to will get a notification. To see posts you’ve sent with Instagram Direct, tap in the top right of your Home feed.

Posts sent with Instagram Direct can’t be shared through Instagram to other sites like Facebook or Twitter. You also can’t tag people or use hashtags in these shared posts.

Very straightforward and shouldn’t take more than 2 pictures shared before you get a hang of it.

The key takeaways here are that you are able to send private photos to people while being aware at which point these people have viewed the photo and how long it has taken them to respond. You are able to delete pictures that have been sent using Instagram Direct and you are also able to hide pictures that have been received through Instagram Direct, making it pretty much worry free.

Instagram Direct is bundled together with the Instagram 5.0 update that is now available on Apple Store and Google Play.

Have you got anything to add to this article? Join the discussion.