If you spend a lot of time chatting on Instagram, there’s good news for you. Instagram seems to be internally testing a Web version of its direct messaging service on the mobile app. This means Instagram users will be able to send messages, photos, emojis, to their friends via a desktop, laptop, PC, or a Mac. Instagram may also bring its direct messaging feature to its mobile website.
As of now, Instagram offers a pretty vanilla experience for desktop users. Web-based direct messages have been one of the most demanded features amongst Instagram users for a while now. Instagram users on the Web can’t post stories from the desktop, but Facebook allows users to post stories from the web.
The upcoming feature was spotted by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong. While the feature isn’t available to public users yet, Instagram seems to be internally testing it to weed out bugs and make improvements. Wong was able to access the feature on a desktop as well as a mobile browser.
Bringing Instagram Direct to the Web could help the company further increase engagement. Cross-platform messaging services make lives easier for users, and at times become a great alternative to SMS for users. Currently, users need access to Instagram’s mobile apps to send and receive direct messages.
Facebook plans to integrate its major messaging services and products this year which include Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram Direct. A Web presence for Instagram Direct seems like one of the first few steps in that direction.
However, Mark Zuckerberg has said the integration isn’t planned for this year.
After cloning the stories format from Snapchat, Instagram’s engagement rates have grown massively. Instagram’s stories format now has over 500 million active daily users, according to the company.