Om Malik predicts that Instagram will be introducing a messaging system as a new feature.

Well-placed sources tell us that the company is gearing up to launch new private messaging features inside its still red-hot photo and video sharing service. It is also experimenting with the idea of group messaging, our source tells us. The new features are likely to find home in the next version of Instagram, which is expected before end of the year.

He sees it as a natural step towards increasing communication between users.

It is fundamentally my belief that most applications need a layer of communication — comments and lightweight signals such as Facebook’s likes are part of that layer. And so is messaging.