Facebook-owned Instagram takes on Twitter with new instant messaging system

A picture may be able to tell a thousand words, but you know what else can tell a thousand words? That’s right: words.

Dissatisfied with offering users merely words or just pictures, the digital titans of the two mediums, Twitter, and Facebook-owned Instagram, are locking horns as they both aim to provide users with both words and pictures.

Instagram’s new function will initially allow users to send private messages to selected groups of up to 15 people, though chief executive Kevin Systrom has stressed that this was the first messaging function available on the app, and user feedback would inform further developments.

Systrom also has plans for Instagram Direct, which could have interesting marketing potential for businesses. Brands may be able to use the app to prompt users to post images – perhaps relating to the brand – with the best images winning competitions.

This is Instagram’s first major announcement since the firm announced a 15-second video feature.

Systrom said that Instagram now has 150 million users and called the app “super addictive” with “more than half of our users on Instagram daily”.

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