It looks like Facebook is starting to unify its messaging apps. Various reports and sources familiar with the matter have pointed out that this is happening. Mark Zuckerberg has plans to merge the messaging part of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. And now it is happening.
Instagram DMs and Messenger are merging through an update
On Friday, people at The Verge and many more started seeing an updated pop on their Instagram app, whether they were sporting Android or iOS phones. The update screen read “There’s a New Way to Message on Instagram” and listed down features,
- “New colorful look for your chats.”
- “React with any emoji.”
- “Swipe to reply to messages.”
- “Chat with friends who use Facebook.”
The users got the option of either choosing “Update” or “not now,” meaning they could forgo the feature as of now. Like opting to use Facebook’s new layout, this messaging update seems to be in the beta phase. The social networking conglomerate could be looking for how the market responds. Feedbacks and more changes are on the cards before making the integration a mainstay.
If you do hit “Update,” a Facebook Messenger logo replaces the DM icon on the top right of Instagram. The chat bubbles become more colorful, changing between gradients of blue and purple as you scroll. Reacting with emoji’s on DMs will be possible, and so will swiping right to reply to specific messages.
As of now, it is not yet possible to message Facebook users from Instagram. The expectations are that Messenger conversations will roll out soon since its mentioned in the ”update” screen.
Why is Facebook unifying it’s messaging services?
The main reason for Facebook unifying its messaging seems to be CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The merging could help billions of users cross-platform, message each other, and engage all of Facebook’s apps.
Given the scrutiny, Facebook is facing regarding privacy and anti-trust issues. Recent hearings even accuse the behemoth of buying off competitors before they become threats, i.e., Instagram and WhatsApp. Unifying the messaging features of the standalone apps could silence most of the issues to an extent.
As seen in the recent update expected to make it to all consumers, Instagram and Messenger are already merging their messaging features. WhatsApp, on the other hand, is a little trickier as it utilizes end-to-end encryption on all messages.
Messenger has this encryption option, whereas Instagram does not. Hence, Facebook will have to work for the whole messaging system of all three apps to be end-to-end encrypted before the unification.
There are reports that WhatsApp’s employees are against this grand unification out of concerns for WhatApp’s ‘stong privacy’ image. But the thousand of Facebook employees working on this grand scheme must have provided a solution.
Instagram DMs and Facebook Messenger merging is step one towards Facebook’s continued dominance in social networking.