If you would have told me that Instagram would be the go-to social network five years ago, I would have scoffed. But things have really evolved for the app since then, and lately it seems to be undergoing a bit of a renaissance due in part to the multitude of updates.

Today's update brings with it landscape and portrait photos to Instagram Direct. On the surface, this is a fairly boring, yawn-worthy update, and though it will make direct messages between you and your friends a bit more dynamic, it's not exactly meant to overhaul your Instagram experience in a meaningful way. But if you use Instagram now and already have a bustling network of friends you chat with on a daily basis, you may find you'll use it more often, especially now that you have the knowledge of its ability to share links and one-off photos without all the noise of the perpetual feed and the fake news that often floods social networks like Facebook.

Instagram has added direct links in Direct messages.

Instagram has also added support for links in its Direct messages so that you can easily send a link you're perusing in the Twitter app, for instance. The link functionality will extend to phone numbers and addresses, too, so if the app is your primary method of socializing, you can rest easy knowing it's possible to have everyday correspondence without having to hop into another chat app. Granted, these aren't major features that will make or break your daily Instagram routine, but they are a valid reminder that in the social network race, it's anyone's game. Instagram is ensuring it stays ahead by offering what its users want, even if it is evolving away from its original objective.

The update is hitting iPhones right now and Android phones later, though links in Direct messages are already available with the latest Android app update.