NEW YORK (AP) — Instagram has added a new feature that lets users share photos and videos with up to 15 people rather than everyone who follows them on the popular Facebook-owned photo-sharing app.
Called Instagram Direct, the feature is available for Apple and Android phones, CEO Kevin Systrom said at a news event in New York City. Users can choose up to 15 people who follow them on Instagram to share photos or videos.
Previously, the only way to share content on Instagram was to post it to your feed, which can be either visible to everyone or locked so only people you approve can see it.
The new tool comes as popularity of messaging apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp is growing. On Tuesday, Twitter also updated its direct messaging tool to let users send photos and videos to one another for the first time.
Forrester Research analyst Julie Ask called the messaging tool a "catch up move" for Instagram, in a blog post, noting that apps such as WeChat already let people share videos, photos, messages and other content.
To use Instagram Direct, download the latest update to the app, and upload or snap a photo the way you normally would. Once you're done applying old-school filters, tagging your buddies and adding a caption if you wish, you'll get the option to either share with "followers" or "direct." Tapping the latter will bring up suggested followers to send the photo to, or let you pick from your list of followers.