This week, software engineer Jane Manchun Wong discovered that Instagram is working on bringing direct message to desktop and browser-based versions of the platform; the prototype that she found, however, has already been remotely disabled, but not before Wong managed to take a couple screenshots.
As of right now, Instagram is pretty basic on non-mobile devices. Apart from not having access to direct messages, users also can't post images or even add to their stories, but the latter limitations aren't expected to change as Instagram confirmed last year, according to The Verge.
Earlier this year, The New York Times reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to merge the direct messaging features from Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram into a super messaging platform so that users don't have to switch between applications to communicate.
Therefore, this web and browser-based Instagram direct message testing could be the preliminary steps for this new interoperability, or, the platform could simply be recognizing the significance of messaging in the application's success.