Instagram’s New Direct Messaging. Competing with SnapChat? [VIDEO]

Well we talked about SnapChat and how relevant is actually is in the digital marketing space yesterday. Nothing proves that point more than the latest feature release from Instagram: private picture messaging.

Are we seeing a competition for privacy?

Instagram’s New Direct Messaging. Competing with SnapChat?

There’s a new little button in the upper right hand corner of your Instagram app as of the last week or so. This is your private message inbox.

This feature only operates for users that you’ve approved to be able to send you media privately. Ultimately when you take a photo and choose users to send it to privately, they have to approve you before they’re going to see what that photo is.

This comes, not surprisingly, as the marketing world is getting acquainted with the possibilities of SnapChat and how relevant is actually is for brands. If the people want “privacy” then let’s pretend it exists as well and send relationship-building media there as well.

The advantage of Instagram? The tremendous userbase of course. The number of people using SnapChat is nothing to sneeze at, but Instagram kinda has user retention on lock right now. Think about all the people already there that would be in your target to do a little something special for through this direct messaging platform.

One awesome idea would be to take advantage of the analytics in the app Followers + and find out who your most loyal followers are. Add them to your DM list and start sharing special inside scoop media just for them so they can feel like a special group to your brand. That’s a great way to build brand advocacy for those who have already proved themselves.

What about the people who haven’t been interacting with your Instagram at all? Followers + will tell you that too and you can send them cute messages through DM letting them know you recognize them and hope they’ll start to join your online party. Maybe they just didn’t feel compelled to interact or feel special? Or maybe your media sucks? Either way, you might pique their interest in a special private message.

You could also add media that might be able to spread the word about the new developments your brand has going on. They’re always looking for a story so if you send them the assets privately and let them know they can break the story if they find it interesting, you might get some press that way.

How could you use private messages on Instagram? We might as well take advantage of this privacy thing that people seem to think they have online, right?