Newer apps easily allow users to tailor who sees what, and for how long.Rick Summer, a senior equity analyst at Morningstar, says Instagram Direct is a defensive maneuver to prevent users from defecting to those new apps.
Now the big social networks see them as a threat too.
A generation of teenagers who have grown up in the era of Facebook don’t necessarily want to broadcast all their photos and messages to everyone they know.
The world’s largest social network has acknowledged that usage among its youngest members is declining.
Like the other big social networks, it’s now competing for people’s attention with a slew of popular messaging apps that have grown quickly in 2013.
Users of Snapchat, which famously boasts photos that disappears in ten seconds or less, now receive 400 million photos and videos each day.
Whats App, a popular texting client now has 350 million monthly users, more than double Instagram’s 150 million.Another chat app, Kik, announced Thursday that it has 100 million registered users, an increase of 70 million from a year ago.There’s a new battle brewing in the social media world.Direct messaging, long a minor feature of most social networks, is gaining more prominence as mobile users increasingly favor apps for communicating instead of traditional SMS texting. Thursday the company announced Instagram Direct, a private messaging feature that allows users to share photos privately with up to 15 people instead of their entire group of followers.Recipients of the private photo can then comment below it in a group thread.The new tool will help Instagram reposition itself as a communication platform and not just a place to log pretty pictures.