Instagram unveils private photo-sharing, messaging

Instagram CEO and co-founder Systrom smiles during the launch of Instagram Direct in New YorkBy Jennifer Saba and Alexei Oreskovic NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Photo-sharing service Instagram unveiled a new feature Thursday that allows users to send images and messages privately, as the Facebook-owned company sought to bolster its appeal among younger consumers who are increasingly using mobile messaging applications. "Sometimes you want to be able to share, not with everyone, but just with a specific group," said Kevin Systrom, Instagram co-founder and chief executive during a presentation in New York. "Instagram Direct is a simple way to send photos and videos to your friends." Instagram claims to have more than 150 million monthly users who have shared 16 billion photos on the service. Facebook Inc, the world's No. 1 Internet social network, bought Instagram for $ 1 billion in 2012.

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