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45m users go Direct on Instagram

Instagram introduced direct picture messaging at the end of last year, but up until now we haven’t heard much from the Facebook-owned app about how well the new feature is performing. According to a report this weekend from TechCrunch, 45 million users are actively using the Direct capabilities, which is a sizeable chunk of Instagram’s 200 million-strong user base.

Instagram Direct takes on one-to-one services such as Snapchat as well as giving users a way to share photos among smaller groups rather than all of their followers at once. “There are… moments in our lives that we want to share, but that will be the most relevant only to a smaller group of people — an inside joke between friends captured on the go, a special family moment or even just one more photo of your new puppy,” said the blog post introducing the feature. “Instagram Direct helps you share these moments.”

TechCrunch’s Josh Constine speculates that the 45 million Direct users could be made up of both Instagram power users and small groups who want to be able to share privately — Direct has been “gaining steam” with this second section of Instagrammers, according to one of the company’s executives. With 23 percent of users making the most of Instagram Direct, the feature seems to be a solid if unspectacular success.

The social media app scene continues to fragment as users turn to smaller, more specific apps rather than one comprehensive platform, and Instagram has so far been successful in appealing to photo enthusiasts as well as more casual users. It will be hoping the Direct feature continues to attract more attention, giving it a line of defence against instant messenger-type sharing services and networks.

Are you a satisfied Instagram Direct user or is the default sharing option enough for you? Or have you abandoned the app completely? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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