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

Shawn De Cesari
Shawn is a web developer by day and XDA's resident archivist for Nexus and Google Play Edition device OTA updates by night. When not immersing himself in code or Android, he can be found hunting down antique signs, taking road trips, listening to music, or playing video games. His daily drivers are a Nexus 6 and an iPhone 6 Plus.
  • Taylor

    It's pretty bad that Instagram's iOS app follows more Android design guidelines than their Android app does.

    • SwankMonsta

      All you obsessive fanboys ever cry about. Be happy it's on Android n shush.

      • SSDROiD

        That's the most ridiculously insane reply I've read all year!

      • someguy

        What a well thought out and intelligent response, thank you for you contribution

  • Cole

    Now, they could focus on a redesign. They made one for iOS7 easily so it matches the UI updates, but the Android version is starting to look dated and out of place.

    • Tom

      same as facebook app

      • Karen Davis

        my&nbspneighbor's&nbspsister&nbspΜ­­­­­­а­­­­­­κ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­ѕ&nbsp$­­­­­­­­­70/hr&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspс­­­­­­օ­­­­­­Μ­­­­­­р­­­­­­υ­­­­­­τ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­r.&nbspShe&nbsphas&nbspbeen&nbspfired&nbspfor&nbsp5&nbspΜ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ­­­­­­ѕ&nbspbut&nbsplast&nbspΜ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ&nbspher&nbsp р­­­­­­а­­­Уment&nbspwas&nbsp$­­­­­­­­­18998&nbspjust&nbspW­­­­­­օ­­­­­­r­­­­­­κing&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspс­­­­­­օ­­­­­­Μ­­­­­­р­­­­­­υ­­­­­­τ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­r&nbspfor&nbspa&nbspϜ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­W&nbspհ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­υ­­­­­­rs.&nbspRead&nbspmore&nbspon&nbspthis&nbspweb&nbspѕ­­­­­­і­­­­­­τ­­­­­­℮, ....Pe rfe ct2 3 .C o m

        ✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔✔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.

    • Pratik Holla

      Anything Facebook touches essentially turns into garbage in terms of UI. I am not holding my breathe for a better looking facebook or instagram app. For a service that is so centralized around sharing great images, they have one fugly app!

  • Brad

    Just got it... how do i pull the apk for you without root?

    • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

      You'll have to have adb installed and USB debugging enabled on your phone. Do adb pull /data/app/com.instagram.android-1.apk. If that doesn't work, try -2, -3, etc. until it works.

      • Brad

        shit, no adb on the work PC

    • Jia Tern

      You can use Astro file manager to pull it. Backup as app

      • Brad

        Trying it

      • Brad

        Data's empty :- Must need root...

    • Sabin Bajracharya

      Just use CleanMaster and do a backup of your app!

  • Ian Fay

    Any chance they could get it so it stops going to Chrome every time I want to see a pic from Twitter?

    Which then, every time I open Chrome to actually use Chrome, instantly pops up with Instagram again?

    • http://tsurufoto.com/ Aaron Tsuru

      I think that is twitter's fault, not instagram. They are the ones who banished many link sources to not be able to preview/show within twitter.

  • qpinto

    instagram direct? this must be their response to snapchat without time limits.

    • LiamBryant

      Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but how is Snapchat without time limits any different than MMS?

      • qpinto

        instagram direct is saved to your profile, not phone once you delete it. i guess you could hold onto the picture forever if you chose to

  • http://revanmj.pl/ Michał Jakubowski
    • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

      Thanks! We'll get it added to the post.

  • Lincoln Daniel

    This could be a huge bite at snapchat for rejecting Facebook's $3billion offer

    • SSDROiD

      Very, very true.
      I personally hate Snapchat, it lacks so many basic features it's ridiculous and I personally only use it because people send me pictures some rare times. If Instagram could take over for Snapchat, that would've been great!

  • Darkbotic

    What breed is the dog at 0:56?

    • James_C_L

      Possibly border Collie?

      • Darkbotic

        Oh! Thank you very much!!!

  • Lawats

    All i see are portals everywhere... #ingress lol

  • daas88

    I can sense something coming: dick pics on girls' inboxes.

  • dmo580

    How about posting images larger than 612x612? You know, not everyone has a tiny phone w/ low resolution...

  • Slawootsky

    Let me guess... Still no holo?

  • 16bitz0r

    Extremely useless concept. Instead of allowing PM between followers (that's all Instagram needs, nothing more), they chose this lame method and force us keep using kik and another stuff. If they're worried about spam, they can allow it to work only if you and the other person are following each other.

  • Adrian

    5/5 Great app.

  • http://www.LOVEanon.org/ Michael Oghia (Ogie)

    So basically they just ported a years-old feature from every other social networking site (e.g., Twitter)?

  • Frankie

    after updating my Nexus 7 2013 to 4.4.2 and Instagram to 5.0. taking a picture using Instagram with my front camera results to low light pics.
    anyone here experiencing the same?

  • someguy

    Hipsters everywhere rejoice