Facebook-owned photo application Instagram is reportedly testing a 'regram' function – similar in style to Twitter's retweet button – that lets users share interesting content between friends.

According to The Next Web, which uncovered the upcoming capability, additional updates may also include enhanced use of gifs and an option to share posts directly with chat app WhatsApp.

The current set-up for Instagram means users have to rely on downloading third-party Android applications or go through the time-consuming process of saving and re-sharing individual images to followers.

There are numerous apps currently available, including "Repost" and "Regram", but it appears that Instagram, which boasts 500 million daily active users from around the world, now wants to bring things in-house.

Parent firm Facebook has a habit of integrating functions from rival services into its own products.

The Next Web said the gif function will – like Twitter – let users search for gifs to add to posts and stories using the popular website Giphy.

In addition, it appears to be testing a way to let users store content from their Instagram stories (which currently disappear) in a personal archive.

Lastly, an upcoming feature will reportedly let avid Instagrammers add close friends into a closed group – taking tips from Twitter's Direct Message button or Facebook Messenger.

Earlier this week (28 November), the app released the ability to let users "remix" friends' photos with personalised stickers, text and drawings in an attempt to enable "fun conversations".

Separately, it gave its userbase more control over replays when sending messages to friends. Photos and videos sent with "Allow Replay" will now loop automatically, it said in a blog post.

Facebook purchased Instagram back in 2012 for a reported $1bn (£745m), a mere two years after it launched.

The Next Web