When comparing Instagram Direct vs Pulse SMS, the Slant community recommends Pulse SMS for most people. In the question“What are the best messaging apps for Android?” Pulse SMS is ranked 15th while Instagram Direct is ranked 44th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Video & photo messages
Photos have to be cropped to be square.
That can be applied to photos and videos.
Pro Group messages
With up to 15 people.
Pro Multi-platform/Unified Messaging
Pro Good Material Design UI
Pro Encrypted messaging content on devices
Pro Per-Conversation Customization
Pro You can use the iOS app as long as you know how to sideload it
It is on GitHub and there's a way to sideload it with Cydia impactor and appsigner.io
Pro One-time fee
Con Walled garden
Can't communicate with people outside of Instagram.
Con No RCS support
But only Messages has that.
Con Lacks support for UWP on Windows 10
UWP apps aren't hard to build - Luke K could bring his app to the Windows Store easily and make a TON of people happy at work.