Early last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was reported to be setting his sights on the integration of Messenger, Instagram Direct, and WhatsApp into a single messaging platform. The planned unification is supposed to allow cross-messaging among these services, with support for end-to-end encryption.
Now, a new report from The Verge indicates the social networking site has begun merging Instagram and Messenger at least in what could be a sign of a more serious effort toward combining those three separate messaging services eventually.
This has been spotted on iOS and Android in the U.S., and if you open the Instagram app on any of these operating systems, you might see a screen that informs you of a “new way to message on Instagram”. It’s not certain, though, whether this update screen is visible to everyone in the country or just to a limited number of users. There are some new capabilities coming with the integration, including new colors for chats, emoji reactions, reply with a swipe, and cross-chat with Facebook users.
Allowing the update will bring you to a refreshed Instagram screen where its typical Direct messaging icon is replaced by the Messenger logo. For now, however, there seems to be no way of sending a message to Facebook users from Instagram. That said, the Federal Trade Commission could get in the way of that unification due to antitrust concerns.
Source: The Verge