By Alexandra Burlacu | Dec 13, 2013 09:56 AM EST
Instagram has announced a new direct messaging service called Instagram Direct, now allowing users to share photos and videos in private messages.
While not everyone is a fan of Instagram, the service is very popular and numerous people worldwide use it to share photos and videos. The most notorious Instagram photos may involve food, but that's not all there is to the service.
The company has just released Instagram 5.0 for Android and iOS, adding improvements and new features. The latest version of the photo sharing service now includes a new Instagram Direct messaging feature, something that users have long been waiting for.
"From how you capture photos and videos to the way you start conversations through likes and comments, we built Instagram Direct to feel natural to the Instagram experience you already know," explains a company blog post on Thursday, Dec. 12.
"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 button to enter the same simple photo 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. After sending, you'll be able to find out who's seen your photo or video, see who's liked it and watch your recipients commenting in real time as the conversation unfolds."
Instagram further notes that if you receive a photo or video from someone you follow, it will appear immediately. If someone you're not following, however, sends you a photo or a video, Instagram will put it in your requests so you can choose whether to view it or not.
The company also boasted that it has more than 150 million users now, half of which are using the service on a daily basis. To learn more about the new Instagram Direct messaging service, check out the company's announcement or watch the video below.