As of today, when you update your Instagram app, you will be able to send a photo or video to one to fifteen selected people, whether you are connected or not! No one else will be able to see them (well, unless your “friend” takes a screenshot and shares it – always be discreet!).
To use the new feature, right before you send the photo, tap “Direct”. Tap on the people you want to see the photo or video and hit “Send.”
The people receiving your update get a notification (and you’ll have a fake one from Instagram, just to show you where you’ll look for these direct updates). Look for the little inbox icon on your home screen. Can’t miss it!
Limitations on Instagram Direct Posts
You can’t share to Facebook or Twitter and you can’t tag people or use hashtags on these direct posts. That only makes sense – you don’t WANT them shared with everyone or to be searchable.
Sending Instagram Posts to Unconnected People
You can send them, but they’ll go in the requests queue. If accepted, future direct posts will go right to their inbox. Otherwise, they may eventually time out and become unavailable.
What If I Get Unwanted Direct Posts From Someone?
From your requests queue, you can ignore the post by tapping “x.” You can also choose “Ignore All” to get rid of all of them at once!
If you get posts you really don’t like you can report them
or block a user
from sending posts to you in the future.
Instagram Direct Sender’s Remorse? Delete It!
It happens! You can delete a direct post and your recipients will no longer see it. Remember though, that a screenshot lasts forever – no way to delete those from your friends’ devices.
How Might Businesses Use Instagram Direct?
Well, they might be spammy, trying to get your attention by sending messages directly to you, about things you don’t care about (think “Viagra” emails in the 90s).
They might also use them for good by allowing opt-ins to direct messages or by sharing something you have, in the past demonstrated an interest in. For example, did you like and comment on their post about holiday hairstyles? They might take that as a signal to send an update about a new favorite style they just captured – or maybe a quick video “how-to” tutorial to recreate it. Some businesses might look at accounts for those who don’t follow them, determine a relevant interest and share a post that way.
If businesses take the time to find top customers, they could share with them exclusive content, specials and discount codes. They can start keeping track of who likes or comments on updates already and share things with just those engagers. To be successful, they’ll need to be truly helpful, not spammy or self-promotional.
Personally, I love it because I only maintain one account – for business. My posts there are more informal and personal than those on other networks. But, there are times I’d like to share something a little more personal with just a few specific friends. This is just became possible. I’m thrilled!
How will you use it? We can’t wait to see! Also, would you please share your Instagram handle below so we can follow you? We are scalablesocialmedia.
Instagram Direct – Send Photos and Videos to Friends Only
Instagram releases Instagram Direct, allowing you to send photos and videos to selected people – whether you know them or not.