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Unification: Facebook Is Brining Messenger Chat Features Into Instagram

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Facebook is yet again attempting to unify its services and today, the social media giant announced that it would basically merge Instagram and Messenger. Chat features of Messenger will be available in Instagram DMs and this may be a way to promote Instagram direct messaging. One feature of note is that the Chat features of Messenger coming to Instagram users will include the entire thing which means you can use both services without necessarily having to download both apps separately.

Adam Mosseri Head of Instagram, and Stan Chudnovsky, Head of Messenger said in a joint blog post that we’re announcing an update to Instagram DMs by introducing a new Messenger experience on the app.” Messenger is used by over a billion people and has some advanced video and voice chat features that have seen it being used even for business. This why the Facebook heads of Instagram and Messenger both say “People are communicating in private spaces now more than ever. More than a billion people already use Messenger as a place to share, hang out and express themselves with family and friends. That’s why we’re connecting the Messenger and Instagram experience to bring some of the best Messenger features to Instagram – so you have access to the best messaging experience, no matter which app you use. People on Instagram can decide whether to update immediately to this new experience.”

But this is not a new idea by Facebook to merge its platforms. Since it acquired WhatsApp in 2014, they had hinted that it would try and unify its platforms to give users a bigger choice of app downloads and usage specific to their needs without having to have multiple apps for different reasons. Shortly after the acquisition, Facebook allowed Instagram users to share posts to other Facebook platforms. WhatsApp allowed to simply link your Facebook account to effectively help you have a unified profile picture across both platforms and many others.

On the privacy side, all of these platforms use end-to-end encryption to secure messaging and file sharing between users.

The instant messaging culture is still by far the most used part of the social media experience and it’s no surprise that Facebook is putting an emphasis on it by unifying its messaging platforms. On that, Facebook says “In our research, four out of five people who use messaging apps in the US say that spending more time connecting with friends and family on these apps is important to them, yet one out of three people sometimes find it difficult to remember where to find a certain conversation thread. With this update, it will be even easier to stay connected without thinking about which app to use to reach your friends and family. “

It won’t be surprising to see some Instagram features eventually come to WhatsApp in the near future as Facebook continues to push its unified chat platform across its services on all operating systems.

Here are all the features coming soon to the new Messenger experience on Instagram as highlighted by Facebook;

  • Communicate Across Apps: Seamlessly connect with friends and family across Instagram and Messenger by using either 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.
  • Vanish Mode: Choose a mode where seen messages disappear after they’re seen or when you close the chat. 
  • Selfie Stickers: Create a series of boomerang stickers with your selfie to use in conversation.
  • Chat Colours: Personalize your chats with fun colour gradients. 
  • Custom Emoji Reactions: Create a shortcut of your favourite emojis to react quickly to messages from friends.
  • Forwarding: Easily share great content with up to five friends or groups. 
  • Replies: Respond directly to a specific message in your chat and keep the conversation flowing.
  • Animated Message Effects: Add visual flair to your message with animated send effects.
  • Message Controls: Decide who can message you directly, and who can’t message you at all.
  • Enhanced Reporting and Blocking Updates: Now you can report full conversations in addition to single messages on Instagram, and receive proactive blocking suggestions across Instagram and Messenger when you add your accounts in the new Accounts Centre.
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