It's been a pretty big year for Instagram. So far, it has released several big new features including video and people tagging. To end 2013 on a high note, Instagram announced today that it is launching Instagram Direct - a new private sharing feature. Highlights include:

  • The ability to share photos privately with up to 15 people.
  • See who has seen, liked, and commented on your privately-shared photo in real time.
  • Receive push notifications when one of your friends shares a photo with you.
  • If someone you don't follow shares a photo with you, it goes to a special "requests" area. You can decide from there if you want to view it.

Instagram Direct rolls out as part of Instagram 5.0, which will be available on Google Play starting today.

Update: For those who prefer not to wait, here's the APK:

Source: Instagram