Facebook has injected a bit of Messenger into Instagram, allowing users to communicate across apps more easily.
If you’re the type of person who finds it difficult to remember which app you had a specific conversation on, you’ll be happy to know that Facebook is now linking Messenger and Instagram, making it easier to stay connected, without having to think about which app to use.
The move – which should soon also include WhatsApp – is part of Facebook’s promised integration between its apps. The introduction of Messenger features within Instagram creates a “new Messenger experience” within the photo-sharing app – and brings with it the ability to communicate across apps seamlessly.
Apart from simply using either Messenger or Instagram to send messages and join video calls, there are many new features:
Watch Together: You can now watch videos on Facebook Watch, IGTV, and soon, Reels, TV shows, movies, and more with others during any video call.
Vanish Mode: You can choose to use “Vanish Mode” to have messages disappear after you’ve seen them or when you close a chat.
Selfie Stickers: Like a cross between Boomerang, emojis, and selfies, they are a new way to react to conversations that you can create with your selfies.
Chat Colors: You will be able to personalize chats with color gradients just like on Messenger.
Custom Emoji Reactions: You can create a shortcut of your favorite emojis to use as a quick reaction to messages from friends.
Forwarding: You can easily share content with up to five friends or groups.
Replies: You can respond to specific messages directly within your chat to keep the conversation going.
Animated Message Effects: New animated send effects bring a visual flair to your messages.
Message Controls: Decide who you can receive direct messages from, and who can’t message you at all.
Enhanced Reporting and Blocking Updates: In addition to single messages on Instagram, you can now report entire conversations. Furthermore, you can receive proactive blocking suggestions on both Instagram and Messenger when connecting your accounts in the new Accounts Center.
Custom emoji reactions and selfie stickers will appear on Instagram first – and will come to Messenger soon.
The whole idea is that whether you use Instagram or Messenger, you can enjoy the same messaging experience without having to download another app. Messages and calls using Instagram will stay on Instagram, but the main change is that people who use Messenger can now also reach you on Instagram. If you’ve got both, you can control where you receive messages and calls.
You can decide whether or not to update to the new experience, but the new feature will only be tested in a few countries for the time being.
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