As soon as Facebook purchased Instagram, many users of both apps began to speculate about how integrated the two apps would one day become. While some subtle changes were observed every once in a while, nothing too dramatic took place immediately. One thing that many people noted was that features that were very popular on Instagram suddenly then showed up on Facebook, stories being the perfect example. But now, Facebook has decided to integrate the two apps by merging the two chats into one.
Many users of both apps were out of the blue greeted with a message that read “There’s a New Way to Message on Instagram” that also listed new features. These included a “new colorful look for your chats,” swipe-to reply functionality, extended emoji reaction options, and of course, the biggest change: “chat with friends who use Facebook.”
After upgrading to this update, the DM logo we’ve all grown accustomed to on Instagram will change to the Facebook Messenger logo. Instagram chats will become much more colorful, the chats’ colors changing from blue and purpose as the user scrolls. As of now, it’s not possible to message Facebook users directly from Instagram, but expect that to change.
Facebook has already made it clear that the merge is the direction they’re heading in. That also includes unifying WhatsApp, a messaging app that the giant also acquired several years ago. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared that he wants the whole system to be end-to-end encrypted. Integrating the messaging apps is Facebook’s strategy in competing with Apple’s iMessage, which many users in the United States use as their default messaging option.
A Facebook representative shared a confirmation that the company is now testing this experience. According to the spokesperson in an email with The Verge, “A small set of people were able to update to a new test experience for Instagram messaging. We hope they enjoy the experience and we are looking forward to testing it in other countries so we can keep learning from this.”