American fashion chain Gap has become the first brand

to use Instagram’s new ‘Instagram Direct’ feature, which allows users to share photos or videos more privately, just days after it was unveiled.

At the presentation of Instagram Direct, the photo sharing app’s co-founder Kevin Systrom suggested that the new feature could be utilised by brands wishing to host competitions, and Gap certainly didn’t waste any time to test out the new function.

The retailer used the popular photo app to run a competition, inviting the “first 15 people to comment” on their photo to take part in its What I Wore Today challenge. Each of the 15 recipients then received a private message inviting them to upload what they were wearing to win a limited edition “tech case”. The outfit photos were then only viewable to Gap and the 15 users invited to enter the contest.

Commenting on the new feature, Rachel Tipograph, global director of digital and social media at Gap, told Mashable: “I think it's going to be a great tool in terms of deepening relationships with customers. We can now have a visual conversation with them in real-time and help them faster and hopefully with more customer satisfaction."

The new feature is being compared to social media platform Snapchat, an app that allows users to send images and videos that are automatically deleted after 10 seconds, which is already being used by fashion brands Rebecca Minkoff and AllSaints.
 

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