Have you ever sent a photo to someone on a whim, and then wished that you never sent that photo? Instagram feels your pain. With the new Instagram update, you can send private photos to friends, and then delete those photos if you decide that the picture you sent wasn't really a good idea.
How It Works
First, you have to send a direct photo to an Instagram user.
1. Click on the direct photo icon at the top of your screen.
2. Choose the photo you want to send (or take a new one).
3. Choose the recipient (you can add up to 15).
4. Tap the 'Send' button.
Now, you can take that photo away if you had a second thought. To remove a photo that you've just sent directly, follow these steps:
1. At the bottom of your sent photos, click on the three circles on the bottom righthand corner.
2. Choose the 'delete' button.
3. The photo that you sent has now been deleted.
Some Minor Issues
The deletion feature is a fun one that Instagram users will love to play around wit. But, before you go and delete any photos that you didn't mean to send (or shouldn't have sent), you should be aware that the recipient will still get a notification message from you.
It's kind of like when someone posts something to Facebook and then deletes that post. You'll still know that someone tried to send you something, but you won't be able to see it. If your plan was to go completely incognito where private photos are concerned, you'll have to come up with a good story about why a notification message was sent...but no photo has appeared (glitch?).
Other Things to Consider
Instagram's newest feature isn't completely solid, though. You can't do much about a photo that someone has taken a screenshot of. For example: let's say that you had a few merry drinks, sent a photo to a random person at 4am, and now want to delete that photo. If the person hasn't seen the picture, you can delete it.
If the person has seen the photo, take a screenshot of it, and sent it to all of her friends, well, there's nothing you can do. In other words, use the direct photo messaging option very very carefully. Otherwise, you'll wind up sending some interesting photos that never should have been sent.
Not New, But Fun
Instagram borrowed the concept of 'unsending' photos from Snapchat, though Snapchat has a much more dramatic way of getting rid of photos that you want to unsend. You can also unsend any Gmail email (if you're quick enough and have this feature set up). So, unsending things isn't bizarre at all, but it is a first for Instagram.
What do you think of this feature? Or, what do you think of direct photo options? Are you happy that you can now get rid of those photos that you didn't (ahem!) mean to send? Are you a bad sender? Let me know!