Instagram might be adding an instant messaging feature

A report in GigaOM says Instagram is working on several new features, one of which might be the addition of instant-messaging. Om Malik writes:

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.

The question is, do mobile users need yet another instant messaging service, when they are already using SMS, Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter to communicate in real time? Probably not in the traditional messaging sense. What’s more likely is this is Facebook’s way of going after Snapchat. Instagram is currently the only property in Facebook’s arsenal that can compete with Snapchat’s hugely coveted teen users. By adding a Snapchat-like photo and text messaging feature to Instagram, Facebook could salvage itself from Snapchat’s embarrassing rejection of its $3 billion acquisition offer.

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