Instagram announced a new feature called Instagram Direct on Thursday, which allows users to share pictures and videos directly to friends and not all followers.
Instagram unveiled the news during a press event in New York City. The company created fanfare over today's festivities by sending physical Instagram images printed on canvas to members of the press.
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The company clarified that only those who you follow can send direct pictures and videos. If you don't follow them, you will receive a pending request to view the content.
"Communication is really core," Instagram cofounder and CEO Kevin Systrom said during the event. "It's not about photography necessarily. We aren't built into cameras. We are built into phones, and phones are communication devices."
Systrom added that half of Instagram users use the platform daily.
The update is available for iOS download and Android starting today. The Windows Phone version is in beta.