Facebook snatched up competitor Instagram several years back, and it may be the smartest move the social network ever made. Now instead of working independently, they will work together, a move that will dominate the business. The company announced this week that Facebook and Instagram will now work alongside each other and will share features such as chat.
Updates to Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger
After an update, Instagram will begin announcing to users that it’s adding a chat function that will include emoji, changing chat color, etc. But the chat and other features won’t be limited to just Instagram, as users will also be able to chat with other Facebook users, too.
What this change will do is limit the reasons Facebook and Instagram users have of leaving to use other apps. Users will be able to chat cross-platform whether they have both apps or not.
They will not have to opt in to using the apps together, however. An expanded set of privacy tools is being offered. Users can specify who can reach them in the chat, who is sent to the Message Request folder, and who is not able to reach them at all. Instagram users who choose to not chat with users on Facebook can turn the feature off.
There will be a new Accounts Center in the service, an addition that started being rolled out this week on Facebook. It allows users to opt out of a number of different features.
Users on Instagram and Facebook’s Messenger apps will be able to block and report unwanted messages on phone calls as needed as before, but now full conversations can be reported and not just single messages. Minors’ accounts will be first to get the “Safety Notices” feature in Messenger.
The platforms themselves aren’t merging. You won’t see your Instagram chats in Messenger or vice versa. Instagram messages and calls will remain in the Instagram app, but messages from Facebook users will appear there as well.
These changes were tested with a small group of users over the summer. Along with the chat feature, Facebook and Instagram users will be able to watch videos together, and soon Reels as well.
Additionally, there will be an option to make messages disappear with a “Vanish Mode” option. Selfie Stickers will be offered as well to change a chat’s colors, and custom emoji reactions and animated effects will be offered as well.
These changes are rolling out already. There are also plans in the future to include WhatsApp into the cross-platform sharing and chatting, leaving even more reason for users to not leave the Facebook-owned collection of apps.
If you want to keep everything private on Instagram, read on to learn how to prevent other Instagram users from finding you.
Image Credit: New Messaging Features for Instagram and public domain
Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site’s sponsored review program.
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