Why you might soon be the proud owner of an @instagram.com email address

might soon proud owner instagram com email address ig app
We recently heard reports that Instagram plans to add a messaging feature that would, if real, massively beef up what’s essentially a very bare-bones social network. But now reports are surfacing that it might not be just some dingy chat icon that starts popping up on your Instagram profile – we could be looking at full-fledged @instagram.com email addresses being added to the platform.

An e-marketer received a list of @instagram.com email addresses when requesting contact information from a social data compiler. TechCrunch, which broke the story, admits that the @instagram.com addresses could be an error. But given the earlier news of a messaging service, the timing seems, at least, suspiciously coincidental.

Facebook – which owns Instagram – also gave the email thing a try (and, technically, still is). Project Titan was the codename for an experiment we all assumed would be Facebook email, although Facebook explained it as a “modern messaging system” instead. This 2010 launch introduced seamless conversations, connecting Facebook Chat, the inbox, and SMS messages into one-stream. However, it also added @facebook.com addresses for users. While these give us the ability to use Facebook as an email client (with the ability to attach items, send group messages, etc), many of us don’t, for obvious reasons.

The @facebook.com addresses are sort of just a proxy that idly sit there – I’ve personally never addressed an email or message to anyone using their @facebook.com address, and I’ve never give my Facebook “email” address out, or had anyone send anything to me via it. An @instagram.com address could function exactly the same; with the new messaging feature comes your username@instagram.com address, which shall sit there unused.

Of course, @facebook.com was a forward-thinking feature. The “email is dead” harpies will continue, and perhaps new, future users who are incredibly ingrained into Facebook will simply be weaned off a traditional email client into using @facebook for all their messaging purposes. The @instagram.com address would follow suit. There’s a strong argument that email will never completely die, that the traditional inbox will live on – but Facebook isn’t going to take any chances. If it can be obliterated by newer, sleeker, more social apps, then laying the groundwork to snag a significant piece of that future service is key.

But Facebook can’t just do it with Facebook anymore. It needs something younger, more visual, without years of privacy-mongering baggage. Something like … Instagram.

The race to corner the messaging market is heating up, and while Facebook was ahead of the game for awhile, it’s slipping at the rise of apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. (WhatsApp just surpassed it as the top mobile messaging app). Instagram, with its younger, hipper, trendier platform, could be Facebook’s only hope for staying in this game. Where @facebook.com failed (or will fail … or will probably fail, if you’re an optimist), the social network may hope @instagram.com could succeed.

It’s certainly not a sure bet. While the aforementioned apps are focused around instant and mobile messaging, Instagram is focused around photo-sharing. But the lines between photo-sharing and conversations are being blurred – for more proof, just witness Snapchat’s meteoric rise. After it’s failed bid to buy Snapchat, the only thing under Facebook’s roof that could be modeled into a modern messaging system is Instagram. Does it mean Instagram could lose that intangible “thing” that’s made us love it? Maybe. Facebook’s been criticized for trying to be too many things, and this could be another symptom of that. But as competitors nip at its heels – and even overtake its user numbers – it’s a risk Facebook is willing to take.

Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

You can now share saved Facebook posts with a Pinterest-like collection tool

Facebook collections can now be shared with friends if you also want to allow them to contribute to the list. Facebook is rolling out an update that allows users to add a contributor to their collections, or lists of saved Facebook posts.
Social Media

Tumblr bans nudity to create ‘a safe place for creative expression’

Tumblr will soon no longer allow images with adult content. The company says the change is one that's designed to help more creators feel comfortable sharing on the platform, but admits the change won't happen overnight.
Social Media

Members can share the same Story with Facebook’s new Group Stories

Facebook Group members can now view and share Group Stories. Unlike the Stories for an individual user, the new tool allows members to contribute to the same Group Story, if the feature isn't turned off by an admin.

Broadway actor tells Kanye West to get off his phone during opening night

Theater actors can get understandably upset when they spot someone in the audience fiddling with their phone instead of watching the show. The other night that audience member was Kanye West, and he got called out for it.
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.