Instagram is set to release an update to the app before the year runs out, and there are rumors that the photo-sharing app may be adding a new feature: private messaging.
Om Malik of GigaOM writes that “well-placed sources” at Instagram leaked details about the new update that should be available to users before the end of this year. Since the app’s inception in 2010, it has generated more than 200 million users. If it’s true that private messaging is a main feature among those updates, that could be a game changer.
Users currently can comment and tag others in posts, but it’s all up for the public to see. That might deter some action on the app for users who don’t necessarily want their families to see what they show their friends … or vice versa.
Private picture and video messaging is a concept that Snapchat has embraced and, so far, thrived on. The company reportedly just turned down a $4 billion buyout offer from Google and a $3 billion offer from Facebook.
The new feature is similar to a move Instagram made in June of this year when the app added videos to its content repertoire. Many speculated that would mean the downfall of the popular video app Vine, but it appears to still be going strong. That could allay some of the concerns for Snapchat executives.
Private messaging, along with the video addition, show just how much the app has evolved over the years. Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom once said the app would be the future of photography with its filtering feature. But the social aspect has played a more prominent role in how the app has developed.
The next Instagram update should be coming in December of this year. The company has so far declined to comment on the rumors.