Photo-sharing application Instagram has made its foray into the instant messaging service with the launch of Instagram Direct.
The new feature is claimed to allow the users to share private photos and videos with selected friends, and allows users to send a picture or video to up to 15 people.
Previously, when the users posted a photo on their Instagram account it would be visible to all the followers on the service.
The company has added a new option to the share button that will allow the user to send the selected file to specific people by tapping their names.
The company has also upgraded the home screen of the application with a new icon in the top right corner of home feed that helps to open inbox, where the received photos and videos are stored.
Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom said the feature is meant to let people start a private conversation around a particular photograph or video.
"For us, communication is very core," Systrom said.
"It's not about photography necessarily," Systrom added.