You might think of Instagram’s new private messaging feature as a way to share certain photos with just your best friends. But Instagram—and the Kardashians—have other ideas about how the tool could be used to serve up promotional content.
On Thursday, the photo-sharing app announced “Instagram Direct”—a way for people to send photos and videos only to selected recipients, even if they aren’t connected to each other on the service. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom described it as a way to better share photos around common interests, or with a more intimate group of friends.
In addition, Instagram gave a lot of thought to how brands might want to use the tool, Systrom said during a meeting with the press in New York City. A good amount of that thinking stemmed from the company’s larger, ongoing monetization efforts, he said.