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Instagram CEO and co-founder Systrom announces the launch of Instagram Direct in New York

REFILE CORRECTING TYPO Instagram Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Kevin Systrom announces the launch of a new service named Instagram Direct in New York December 12, 2013. Photo-sharing service Instagram unveiled a new feature on Thursday to let people send images and messages privately, as the Facebook-owned company seeks to bolster its appeal among younger consumers who are increasingly using mobile messaging applications. The new Instagram Direct feature allows users to send a photo or video to a single person or up to 15 people, and have a real-time text conversations. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS)

Instagram announces Instagram Direct for private photo

At an event in New York City today, Instagram announced Instagram Direct, a new messaging feature available today for iOS and Android that lets users send text, video, and photo messages to each other privately. "Communication is not about photography, necessarily," said CEO Kevin Systrom. "If we were about photography we'd be built into cameras, but we're not, we're built into phones." Instagram up to this point focused on photos and videos — "moments" — as Instagram calls them. Messaging adds a third dimension to the app that lets people communicate using words, Systrom says, but more importantly to do so privately, if you'd like. "Sometimes you want to be able to share not with everyone, but just with a specific group," he said.

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