Facebook began testing the waters of combining Instagram DMs with Facebook Messenger in August this year. Today, the marriage that no one asked for finally says “I do”; as the merger of these two messaging platforms begins to roll out for all users.
According to Facebook, “more than a billion people already use Messenger”, which is why it connects the service to Instagram. I do not understand the connection there, but sure. Okay. The goal is to bring the Messenger experience to IG as a way to strengthen IG’s probably weak settings for instant messaging. Still, I have never personally ever chatted with anyone on IG and thought “man, if only it was Facebook Messenger instead.”
On the upside, Facebook claims that IG users can choose whether or not to choose Messenger integration – at least for now. It is not clear if Facebook will always allow users to keep the two services separate in the long run, but it is conceivable that the merger will eventually be forced.
One of the biggest changes here is that people on Messenger will be able to send messages to you on IG – even if you do not have a Facebook account. While Facebook is likely to try to sell this as an advantage, it is unlikely that people who actively choose not Having a Facebook account will feel the same way. Even though they are owned by the same company, Facebook and Instagram are still a lot feel as two different services.
But there are also some ups and downs. Users who spend a lot of time watching IGTV videos can use Messenger’s Watch Together feature to enjoy videos with friends and family. Watch Together will also soon be coming to Reels, IG’s TikTok clone. The marriage between the two services also introduces “Vanish Mode”, which automatically deletes messages after they have been read. Sneaky.
Outside of these, Facebook outlined on its blog a complete list of all the new features that IG users can expect with Messenger integration:
- Communicate via apps: Connect seamlessly with friends and family over Instagram and Messenger by using either the app to send messages and join video calls.
- Watch together: Enjoy watching videos on Facebook Watch, IGTV, Reels (coming soon!), TV shows, movies and more with friends and family during a video call.
- Disappearing mode: Select a mode where displayed messages disappear when they are displayed or when you close the chat.
- Self-stickers: Create a series of boomerang stickers with your selfie that you can use in the conversation.
- Chat colors: Customize your chats with fun color tones.
- Custom Emoji Reactions: Create a shortcut to your favorite emoji to respond quickly to messages from friends.
- Forwarding: Easily share great content with up to five friends or groups.
- Response: Reply directly to a specific message in your chat and keep the conversation flowing.
- Animated message effects: Add visual emotion to your message with animated send effects.
- Message controls: Decide who can send messages directly to you and who can not send messages to you at all.
- Improved reporting and blocking of updates: Now you can report complete conversations besides occasional messages on Instagram and get proactive blocking suggestions over Instagram and Messenger when you add your accounts to the new account center.
The launch starts today in “some countries around the world” and will soon be launched globally.
Source: Facebook Newsroom