Facebook’s grand plans of deeper integration and interoperability between all its properties are edging to closer to reality at a breakneck pace. Just a day ago, the company introduced Accounts Center across Facebook, Instragram and Messenger that will bring facilities such as the abilitiy to cross-share Facebook posts and Stories simultaneously on Instagram, a unified login experience and seamless Facebook Pay credential transfer across the apps. Today, Facebook has announced a major messaging experience overhaul for Instagram that will allow cross-platform messaging between Instagram and Messenger.
You can send a text from Messenger to Instagram, or from Instagram to Messenger. To recall, a Messenger button started appearing in the Instagram app users last month. Additionally, the messaging experience on Instagram has received a much-needed overhaul too. But before we talk about them, it must be noted that the new experience on Instagram is an opt-in feature, which means users can choose to update to this look, but once they do, they can not go back to the older look. So, let’s get to the point.
The key change, of course, is that you can send a message using the Messenger app and it will land in the Instagram inbox of your friend, or vice versa, even if you don’t have one of these apps installed on your phone. Facebook assures that messages and calls you receive directly on Instagram will continue to stay in the Instagram app separately. Plus, you will be able to control whether you want messages and calls from Messenger to appear in your chats or in the message requests section. Or, you can simply choose to disable it.
As mentioned above, Facebook is also bring some key Messenger features over to the Instagram app. Here are some of them:
- Message forwarding, finally! You can forward messages to up to five contacts in the Instagram app.
- There’s a new Vanish Mode that will cause a message to disappear after the message has been seen or you close the chat.
- You can control who can send you direct messages, and block others selectively.
- Instagram users can now respond directly to a message in their ongoing conversation.
- Instagram users can now watch videos on Facebook Watch, IGTV, TV shows, movies, and more together with friends during a video call.
- You can now use boomerang stickers with your selfie and send them in your chats.
- Instagram now lets users create a shortcut of their most frequently used emojis to quickly access them.
Facebook says it is testing the new Instagram experience ‘in a few countries around the world’ and is also planning to expand it globally, but there is no word when that will happen.