The photo-sharing app Instagram fan page as seen on the Facebook website on April 9, 2012 in New York City. Facebook Inc. acquired Instagram for approximately $1 billion. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
There has already been talk that the Facebook-owned Instagram is looking into a messaging product to compete with Snapchat and Whatsapp, and now it seems as if the social network's photo-sharing app is preparing email addresses for its users, according to a report.
Instagram, which has about 150 million users and suffered lags over the holiday weekend because of record uploads, could be offering its users @instagram.com email addresses, according to TechCrunch. The possibility was revealed by an unnamed source who received a list of @instagram.com email addresses.
While TechCrunch acknowledges it could be a "database fluke" it could also mean that Facebook is getting serious about a messaging product for Instagram to compete directly with other photo-messaging apps. Facebook, too, has its own email addresses for users -- and that happened in 2010.
Giving users on the Instagram network native email addresses could make the process of sending directly to individuals more seamless and integrated to the bigger platform. It could also be a way for those recipients of your emailed images a way to respond back to you.
This would be a simpler way for Facebook to compete with the youth-oriented Snapchat and Whatsapp without paying $3 billion.