Facebook-owned image sharing app Instagram has rolled out new features for Instagram Direct allowing users to manage privacy controls for photos and videos they send through private messages on the app. The new View Once, Allow Replay, and Keep in Chat options will enable users to set different access options for different contacts on the app. While the new privacy control features were only just spotted, they've been around for a while - the first two options have been available on Instagram since November last year, while the Keep in Chat option was rolled out last month.
Instagram Direct is the app's section where users can carry out private chats using text, images, video, and links. This is similar to Snapchat's private messages. However, Snapchat only offers the option to view private images and videos only once, albeit with an optional replay feature that disappears briefly after. Instagram now has an upper hand in terms of offering users with flexibility of personal interaction on the platform. On both apps, however, users are notified in case the recipient replays the message. Also, with Allow Replay, replaying the message is only possible without closing the app. The timeline for the rollout of the new features was provided by Instagram to TechCrunch.
While Instagram's disappearing private messages can be considered to have been borrowed from Snapchat's messaging feature, this neat addition certainly gives it more leverage especially after Snapchat has been infamously criticised for its latest design revamp. Snapchat has been facing the heat ever since Instagram Stories had almost double of Snapchat's Daily Active User (DAU) count last year. GIF stickers were recently added on Snapchat, in partnership with GIF database website GIPHY, a few weeks after Instagram got the feature.
Separately, Instagram was spotted testing a new feature that notifies the uploader when any user takes a screenshot of the uploaded snap in Instagram Stories. However, unlike Snapchat, Instagram is not expected to send push notifications and will instead segregate users right in the viewers' section.