Today Instagram announced Instagram Direct, a new way to send photo and video to friends. Instagram Direct is already available but before you check it out here is what you should know about it.
When you take a picture or record an Instagram video you can now share it with up to 15 of your followers. Once the picture/video is sent users will get a notification and they will be able to like and comment it (privately).
You can also decide to share pictures with non-followers but they will have to accept your request first. The same goes the other way: you won’t receive videos or photos from users you don’t follow until you’ve accepted their request.
Unlike Snapchat private photos and videos are not self-destructing. That means you should be able to enjoy them as long as you want unless the author decides to remove it.
What about brands?
The question you might ask yourself at the moment is: how can I use Instagram Direct for my brand? (That is not an easy one)
To us this feature seems to be the perfect opportunity for brands to connect with their most important followers. Finally you have a chance to get on a 1to1 conversation with your brand advocates and you should not miss it.
Depending on what you’re trying to achieve you could use Instagram Direct to offer them beautifully designed coupons or invitations. You could gather their opinions about specific topics or you could simply reward them with exclusive content. Just keep in mind that Instagram is based on emotion and aesthetic.
Edit: Gap has been one of the first brand to use Instagram Direct. After they solicited comments on an Instagram post they messaged the first 15 commenters with a limited edition Gap product.
What’s your opinion about Instagram Direct? How do you think your brand could use it? Please leave your comments below.