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Instagram Direct is getting simpler with all your messages in the same spot

Why it matters to you

Instagram users no longer have to check two locations to chat with friends -- the disappearing messages (which still disappear) are inside the normal chat thread.

Instagram is ending the back and forth between permanent chats and disappearing photos — in an update launched Tuesday, Direct conversations will now appear in the same thread, whether or not they are designed to disappear later.

Before the update, the disappearing messages would appear at the top in the Stories bar inside the Instagram Direct screen, while the normal chat threads were at the bottom of the screen. Now, both messages live inside the same thread. The temporary photos and videos still disappear after being viewed — once they are gone, they are marked in the conversations with a note like “sent a photo.”

The change is designed to make conversations more seamless since the social media giant launched the Snapchat-esque disappearing photos and videos in November. Now, Instagram says the Direct messaging platform has 375 million users, a 75 million user increase since the launch of the disappearing photos and videos late last year.

Access to Direct is still a left swipe inside the Instagram app and the blue camera icon takes a disappearing photo or video. Once the message is viewed, it disappears but the sender still gets notifications on who viewed the image — as well as if anyone took a screenshot of the message that was only supposed to be viewed once.

The change is a small one, but it makes the disappearing photos part of a more normal chat thread, where users can view the history without actually seeing those messages that are not designed to last.

Instagram, of course, is not done tweaking its chat platform either. “We want to make Direct the best place to have fun, visual conversations with your friends,” the announcement reads. “Stay tuned for more.”

The update is now live for both iOS and Android, with both versions as number 10.16.