A Hong Kong-based security researcher has discovered that Instagram is actively testing a DM feature for web browsers.
If true, adding a messaging feature would represent the first major browser-based change since the company added notifications last year.
Historically, IG has shied away from developing a feature-rich, web-based version of its platform, encouraging users to download its app instead. Though users can log in via a browser, the experience is rather bland in comparison. For example, only the mobile web version allows users to upload stories, but neither the mobile nor desktop web experience allows photos to be directly uploaded, The Verge noted.
While the company has been adamantly opposed to flushing out the browser experience, incorporating direct messaging signifies a huge step toward that direction.
Speculation with regard to why Instagram is now testing new browser features varies widely. One theory that’s being floated revolves around the proposed merger between Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and IG.