Instagrammers, welcome Instagram Direct. Instagram Direct is a new function on the app that allows users to send direct messages (DMs) to up to 15 individuals. A DM is a private message one sends to one or more of their followers.

Over the last couple of months, Instagram has been unveiling a number of changes that are aimed at improving the Instagram experience and in an effort to maintain their leverage in a market that sees new entrants frequently. Instagram recently announced that the DM function is now available on the photo-sharing application. Individuals wanting to share a moment with a group of a select few – whether it’s that new puppy or an inside joke – are now able to share these moments, via pictures and/or short movie clips.

Instagram seeks to reposition itself as more than just a photography app, but rather more of a communication application, where users can communicate with each other via means other than photographs, users can also text each other. Despite all the proposed changes, Instagram reassures users that the photograph remains the most important element of the app, as all text messages will require that they begin with a photo.

To access the new DM function, users can click on the new inbox icon that appears on your home screen. They can choose how to respond to the DM, whether simply by liking the post they received, or respond to the message. Instagram Direct has been designed to merge seamlessly into the already existing interface that users have become accustomed to minimise any discomfort  due to the DM function’s inclusion.

Instagram is now also available on Android devices and version 5.0.1 is available on both the iOS and Android versions.

Click here to download Android

Click here to download iOS