Facebook started testing the waters of combining Instagram DMs with Facebook Messenger in August this year. Today, the marriage that no one asked for is finally saying “I do”
According to Facebook, “more than a billion people already use Messenger”, which is why the service is connected to Instagram. I don’t understand the connection there, but certainly. OK. The goal is to bring the messenger experience to IG to support IG’s arguably weak setup for direct messaging. Even so, I’ve never personally chatted with anyone on IG and thought, “Man, if this were just Facebook Messenger.”
On the flip side, Facebook claims that IG users can choose whether or not to – at least for now – opt for the Messenger integration. It’s not clear whether Facebook will always allow users to keep the two services separate in the long term, but one can imagine that the merger will be forced at some point.
One of the biggest changes here is that people in Messenger can message you on IG – even if you don’t have a Facebook account. While Facebook will likely try to sell this as a benefit, people who are actively voting are unlikely to be Not Having a Facebook account will be the same. Even though Facebook and Instagram are owned by the same company, they are still very well represented feeling like two different services.
But there are also some advantages. 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 is also coming soon to Reels, IG’s TikTok clone. The combination of the two services also introduces the “disappearance mode” in which messages are automatically removed after they have been read. Sneaky.
That being said, Facebook has made a full list of all the new features IG users can expect with the Messenger integration on their blog:
- Communicate across apps: Connect seamlessly with friends and family on Instagram and Messenger by sending messages and participating in video calls with both apps.
- 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.
- Disappearance mode: Choose a mode where viewed messages will disappear after they’re viewed or when you close the chat.
- Selfie stickers: Create a series of boomerang stickers with your selfie to use in conversation.
- Chat colors: Personalize your chats with fun color gradients.
- Custom emoji reactions: Link your favorite emojis to quickly respond to messages from friends.
- Forwarding: Easily share great content with up to five friends or groups.
- Reply: Reply directly to a specific message in your chat and keep the conversation going.
- Animated message effects: Add visual flair to your message with animated broadcast effects.
- Message control: Decide who can notify you directly and who cannot notify you at all.
- Advanced reporting and blocking of updates: Now, in addition to reporting individual messages, you can also report full conversations on Instagram and receive proactive blocking suggestions for Instagram and Messenger when you add your accounts in the new Account Center.
The rollout begins today in “some countries around the world” and will soon be rolled out worldwide.
Source: Facebook Newsroom