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Instagram adds new messaging, photo and video-sharing features to stay ahead of Snapchat

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September 3
3:58 AM 2015

Instagram added fresh new features Tuesday to stay ahead with the fast-growing messaging service Snapchat.

Facebook Inc.'s photo and video app now let users exchange message privately or through group conversations.  Meanwhile, its photo and video-sharing service are upgraded to attract more young audiences.

Instagram has more than 300 million users while Snapchat has 100 million and growing. The new features are developed to make sure Snapchat stays behind Instagram, which seems to be threatened by the younger and hipper competitor.

Instagram's new features let users share pictures directly with another friend or a group and respond with texts or pictures. With these new features, Instagram hopes to make users stay on the app or site longer.

There is a growing trend among mobile users that belongs to the younger demographics where they are more interested in messaging friends, and not merely viewing content.

According to Instagram, 40 percent of comments on the platform mentioned other accounts, which indicates that a lot of users prefer to flag content to users they know to start a conversation about the post.

The new features were introduced just a week after Instagram made upgrades on its layout options in addition to its traditional square for picture and videos, which was also viewed as a move to take on rival Snapchat.

Snapchat is popular for how its messages disappear after a few seconds in its platform. It already features a lot of different picture and video formats. Earlier in 2015, Snapchat upgraded to allow its users to exchange text messages as a response to photos and videos.

Besides Instagram and Snapchat there are plenty of other social media platforms that have added or improved their messaging apps to keep up with their users.

LinkedIn announced Tuesday that it will also revamp its inbox to look like a chat app.

Facebook also launched earlier this year its own Messenger service, which is a stand alone app. It also added "M," which is a virtual assistant that helps users complete tasks, such as shopping.

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