Although Instagram Direct has been around since December 2013, it’s only a recent upgrade that has brought the service’s in-app chat feature into the spotlight. This week’s first Chart of the Day thus asks whether Instagram Direct can be a rival to the likes of Snapchat, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Instagram’s active users are already keen on instant messaging apps. Over half are actively using Facebook Messenger and 47% are WhatsApp users. What’s more, over two thirds are using at least one of the two Facebook-owned apps. However, poaching users from these platforms is unlikely to be the reasoning behind Instagram Direct.

Instead, we should be looking at what is arguably Direct’s most obvious competition – Snapchat. Instagrammers are over 3x as likely as the average to be using Evan Spiegel’s chat app, and hence Instagram Direct could give these users a reason to stay in the platform.

To find out more about Instagram’s users, check out our Profile report.


Written by

Felim is Senior Trends Manager at GWI. He oversees the Trends team who produce a wide range of off-the-shelf reports and infographics along with our Chart of the Day series. Moving to GWI after completing a PhD, Felim specializes in writing about online consumer behaviors and digital trends.

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