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Instagram messages are coming to desktop and web browsers

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Instagram's direct messaging features are set to get an expansion. The social media platform is currently testing a version of its messaging function for desktop apps and web browsers, in what is likely preparation for the upcoming integration of Messenger, Whatsapp, and Instagram chat services.

Instagram has always focused on its mobile offering, though the move to bring messaging to desktop and web feels long overdue. 

Staple features like DMs (direct messaged) and photo uploads are still missing from the web version of the app, which offers little more than a rolling feed of the influencers and accounts you follow.

The revelation came by way of @wongmjane, who has a history of unpacking software apps to see what features are currently being trialled or on the cusp of release. 

Back in April 2018, Wong spotted Instagram testing a 'mute' function for followers, which ended up rolling out to users the following month. 

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Getting ready for the big leagues

Instagram has seen great success in a generation used to mobile-based apps rather than regular old website applications. And the expansion in desktop services is likely concerned with more than just a well-rounded user experience.

The social media giant Facebook is reportedly looking to integrate chat services between the various messaging apps it currently owns - Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

That sort of integration will present challenges, and need each app effectively to be rebuilt from the ground up - so it's no surprise to see the players moving towards a more standardized messaging experience across all devices.

Via The Verge

Henry St Leger

Henry is TechRadar's News & Features Editor, covering the stories of the day with verve, moxie, and aplomb. He's spent the past three years reporting on TVs, projectors and smart speakers as well as gaming and VR – including a stint as the website's Home Cinema Editor – and has been interviewed live on both BBC World News and Channel News Asia, discussing the future of transport and 4K resolution televisions respectively. As a graduate of English Literature and persistent theatre enthusiast, he'll usually be found forcing Shakespeare puns into his technology articles, which he thinks is what the Bard would have wanted. Bylines include Edge, T3, and Little White Lies.