A 23 years old software engineer, Jane Wong, has broken news that Instagram is internally testing Direct messaging on web which will be available on desktop and mobile web browsers. If Instagram Direct is released on web, it would means that users will be able to send messages to their contacts on Instagram from their desktop or mobile web browsers. Wong posted the leak on Twitter with screenshots of the feature’s design and functionality in testing phase.
According to the screenshots, the arrow icon on the top right of users’ profile will allow users to send direct messages to their contacts. The functionality of the feature looks similar to the mobile app version.
Instagram has not released an official statement regarding the internal testing of Direct on web. However, the company did tell TechCrunch that it is not testing the feature publicly. This is a general response from the company when testing features internally, so no surprise there. Instagram has also blocked Wong’s access to the web Direct feature, so that is all what we know about the feature.
Instagram's Direct on Web will also be available on desktop pic.twitter.com/Y3iTIdDwKV— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) February 12, 2019
Currently, there is a difference between the web and mobile app version of Instagram. There are fewer features on Instagram’s web experience and the release of new updates has been rather slow. Notifications were added in 2016, while Explore and other features were added in 2017. Therefore, the alleged released of Direct message on the web is a welcoming news for users.
Keeping Wong’s credibility in mind, it does seem likely that it is not a matter of ‘if the feature will be released’ rather a matter of ‘when it will be released’. Jane Wong is known for her reverse-engineering talent which has earned her titles like ‘app tipster’ and ‘app whisperer’. Previously, she has leaked unreleased features of Twitter, Google, Facebook and more, all on her Twitter account, along with screenshots.
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