“Asking folks to install another app is a short term painful thing, but if we wanted to focus on serving this [use case] well, we had to build a dedicated and focused experience.” – Mark Zuckerberg (2014)
Instagram just launched a dedicated messaging app. The experimental app is called Direct, and it's available today on Android and iOS.
The courageous decision to launch a standalone messaging app could go down in history as one of the all-time greats, right alongside Apple removing the headphone jack, Hype pivoting to HQ Trivia, and Tesla expanding into iPhone accessories.
Only time will tell if Instagram's messaging aspirations will work out as planed. In the short-term, the only true measure of success is if 3 months from now, Facebook tries to acquire them again.