Instagram Direct, Twitter DMs, and the Social/Communications Map

Tying into today’s presumed theme of ephemeral vs. permanent writing — and public vs. private messaging — here’s an insightful (as ever) article from Ben Thompson. I love this observation:

Both Twitter and Instagram face the same challenge in moving into this space: both have been built on interest graphs, which by definition is more about broadcasting and less about conversation. Twitter though, given its text background and the fact that DM’s are not a new product, has seeded many a relationship that naturally extends to messaging.

Instagram, on the other hand, is about images, literal projections from a user, and what text exists (i.e. comments) is about said projection, not the user.

Like I wrote earlier, I’m interested in Instagram’s angle, but I’m not sure how successful it will be. Placing images at the forefront makes it similar to Snapchat, but without the necessary ephemerality. Twitter’s direct messages are much more malleable, which I think makes them easier to understand and use.