Instagram is shutting down Direct, a standalone direct messaging app that was meant to compete with Snapchat, according to a report.
The app is available on both iOS and Android platforms. Facebook, which owns Instagram, will divert all new developments and activity from the app to the main Instagram app.
“We’re rolling back the test of the standalone Direct app,” a spokesperson said. “We’re focused on continuing to make Instagram Direct the best place for fun conversations with your friends.”
Instagram will continue to develop features used by Direct, but they will no longer be for a standalone app. Those features include encrypted messaging, shared video viewing and an online version of direct messaging.
All of the conversations on the app will move to the main app, according to Matt Navarra, a Direct user and a social media commentator.
Direct debuted in December of 2017 and was rolled out in a select number of places, including Uruguay, Chile, Turkey, Italy, Portugal and Israel.
“We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is a big part of that,” Instagram said at the time. “To make it easier and more fun for people to connect in this way, we are beginning to test Direct – a camera-first app that connects seamlessly back to Instagram.”
Instagram didn’t do much to promote the app, however, and it was never clear how many markets actually had access to it. The app was most recently ranked at #55 for Android users in Uruguay by App Annie’s rankings, and number 24 in Portugal on iOS.
According to Sensor Tower, the app was installed 1.35 million times on the App Store and Google Play, with the largest percentage of the installs coming from Turkey. The second largest test market was Italy. The app never really caught any traction anywhere else, which may have influenced Facebook’s decision to discontinue it.