Starting today, Instagram is making the direct-messaging portion of the app much more intuitive and user-friendly.
Last November, Instagram introduced disappearing photos and videos to Direct (see image above). While the addition was a natural one — if you already have Stories, you might as well launch a way for someone to send an image to just one or a couple of friends — the execution wasn't entirely seamless. Instead of appearing as part of an ongoing conversation, disappearing photos appeared in circles along the top of the screen, just as Stories do on your main feed.
With today's update, Instagram is improving the viewer experience and introducing a brand new version of Direct. Gone are the standalone circles. Now, all direct videos and photos will be embedded in your text thread with a friend. You'll also notice that the camera icon is far more prominent and easy to access. Just tap the blue camera on the main Direct screen or within a message to send a disappearing image.
Instagram is also launching a feature that many Snapchat users have long requested: The chance to replay your own photo or video after you've sent it (Note: This feature is not available with today's update, but will be coming to your screen soon). The person who received your silly photo will still have the option to replay it once, and you'll be notified if a replay or screenshot takes place.
Just think twice before hitting send. Like with Snapchat, there's no deleting or recalling a direct image once you've hit the blue button.