In the last couple of months, you have probably heard a lot about digital messaging platforms trying their best to keep people connected. A couple of weeks ago, Instagram joined the fray and started rolling out direct messages on the web to all global users, something the company has been testing since January. Instead of sending a direct message on your phone, you can now access your messages from a browser.
The web-based platform looks and feels similar to the mobile app and includes key features like a full emoji keyboard, read-receipts, and a requests folder. To access your direct messages on the web, just log into your account at instagram.com and look for the inbox arrow in the top right. From there, you can turn on notifications, create new messages, or respond to messages faster than ever with the power of a full desktop keyboard under your hands.
The web platform will certainly be useful for power-users, like influencers or small businesses, who are dealing with a lot of messages and want to be as efficient as possible when responding. As someone who has worked in digital marketing and now manages the Chrome Unboxed social media accounts, I know how hard it can be to manage Instagram accounts that have previously required you to pick up your smartphone. I like to get most of my work done from the desktop and so it makes sense to have Instagram messages available on the web where I can type on a keyboard instead of poking at my phone. Whether you use direct messages for work or you are just trying to keep up with friends, web-based DMs will be incredibly convenient.
Facebook, who owns Instagram and WhatsApp, is clearly invested in messaging and see it as a big part of the company moving forward. Mark Zuckerburg, the company’s CEO, has said he eventually wants users to be able to send messages seamlessly between all three platforms. Allowing users to access their Instagram messages from the browser puts the company one step closer to this goal and is a win for web apps.
When functionally isn’t tied to an application, users have more options and can access the platform from any device, like a Chromebook, phone, tablet, or anything with a browser for that matter. Twitter recently went all-in on this approach and even made their application install as a PWA (Progressive Web App) from the Play Store by default. As web technologies continue to evolve, I suspect more and more applications will follow suit and start building their platforms on the web, if they haven’t started already.
Source: The Verge