Instagram launched a test with its standalone messaging app Direct as part of an effort to separate the users' messaging experience from the core app in 2017. The experimental service was rolled out to iOS and Android devices, though its regional availability was limited only to Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay.
The beta test, however, may have proven meaningless for the Facebook-owned service as Direct apparently didn't catch on in a significant manner. Its availability didn't even expand to more countries other than the ones mentioned, although it did receive a few nifty features last year including support for GIF content. Now, it appears Instagram will soon be pulling the plug on the standalone app.
In a notification sent to a few testers of the app, Instagram confirms that Direct will be shuttered in the coming month. The company didn't say exactly when it will be discontinuing the app.
Users of the experimental messaging tool will then start receiving messages directly from within Instagram. Also, existing messages sent to the Direct app won't be removed, but instead will be automatically transferred to the Instagram app.
Source: Matt Navarra (Twitter)