Facebook has announced a new step in integrating its apps with the launch of Messenger features in Instagram and the abilitu for users to communicate across the two apps through chat and video calls. Instagram users will be able to decide whether they want to update their app to the new Messenger experience or continue with the current direct messaging options. Messenger users can opt in to share messages with Instagram contacts.
Messenger already counts over 1 billion users, and Facebook wants to bring many of its familiar chat features to Instagram. The company said this reflects a growing use of private chats, over public commenting.
On the new Instagram messaging experience, users will be able to watch videos together over Facebook Watch, IGTV and Reels during a video call; set messages to disappear after they’re seen or when a chat is ended; create selfie stickers, customized emojis and add animated effects; and forward content to up to five friends or groups.
Messages and calls using Instagram will stay in the Instagram app. The main change is that people using the Messenger app can contact people on Instagram without the need to download a new app, and vice versa. Facebook said users will also get greater control over who can message them and more tools to report suspicious or offensive content.