What the world needs now is yet another proprietary messaging platform, right? Well, if reports are accurate, Instagram might just think so, and might just think they're the ones to do it. Om Malik on GigaOm:
Well-placed sources tell us that the company is gearing up to launch new private messaging features inside its still red-hot photo and video sharing service. It is also experimenting with the idea of group messaging, our source tells us. The new features are likely to find home in the next version of Instagram, which is expected before end of the year. An Instagram spokesperson (not surprisingly) declined to comment.
Apple already has iMessage, Google has Hangouts, BlackBerry has BBM, Microsoft has Skype, Twitter has direct messages, and there's a plethora of others as well, from WhatsApp to Line and more. Instagram's owner, Facebook, already has Facebook messaging, so would Instagram tie into that, or would it be its own thing?
Because, unlike email, you can't just switch clients and keep using the same protocol, instant messaging is a bit of a mess right now, with many people having different friends on different networks. On one hand, the idea of more is exhausting. On the other, maybe the market is big enough for segmentation now? Maybe people will want a way to talk to their Instagram connections that's only accessible to and from their Instagram connections?
It does feel like too many options right now, but none of them are good enough to eclipse the others yet. Let's hope that starts happening sooner rather than later. (Or that someone figures out how the Synergy-ize them all together, so that it doesn't matter which one any of us uses anymore...)