Facebook’s invasion of Instagram is nearing completion. Messenger chats are now available in the Instagram app — and vice versa — according to a joint update posted by Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, and Stan Chudnovsky, the head of Messenger:
More than a billion people already use Messenger as a place to share, hang out and express themselves with family and friends. That’s why we’re connecting the Messenger and Instagram experience to bring some of the best Messenger features to Instagram – so you have access to the best messaging experience, no matter which app you use.
The combined messaging experience is the same one Facebook began testing on a small number of devices about a month ago. It’s designed to streamline the two messaging apps into one chat interface — without actually requiring users to download either app to make the experience work.
If you aren’t quite ready to give up your plain old Instagram DM experience, you’ll be happy to hear the switchover to the new interface is optional. But there’s plenty of reason to opt in — not the least of which is that Instagram users can now contact Facebook users without having a Facebook account.
Facebook messages without Facebook — Facebook’s press release insinuates something very interesting: that you might be able to send messages to Facebook users without actually having an account yourself. A Facebook representative confirmed as much to Input this morning.
People on Instagram will be able to message people who use Facebook Messenger but only once they choose to update to the new experience. It's opt in, and if you don't opt in, then you wouldn't be able to communicate cross-platform.
This is nothing short of monumental for those Instagram users who are still holding out on creating a Facebook account — or for those who have deleted their Facebook accounts in protest of the company’s recent policy scandals.
Looks like “sorry, I deleted my Facebook” isn’t going to cut it as an excuse for not responding to your parents’ messages anymore.
All the features — The biggest change here is the ability to send messages between the Instagram and Messenger apps. But Facebook didn’t stop there; the company is bringing many of its much-loved Messenger features to the Instagram DM experience, too.
For this reason, the new Instagram DM interface will feel very familiar to anyone who’s used Messenger recently. You can personalize the colors of your chat bubbles, create shortcuts for your favorite emoji reactions, add animated message effects, and create selfie stickers. You can even take advantage of Messenger’s “Vanish Mode,” which allows your messages to dissipate after the chat’s been closed.
Facebook also wants you to know that linking your two accounts will give you access to new Messenger features like Watch Together, too.
Control who messages you — The update also brings new privacy controls to match with the streamlined experience.
If you don’t want just any Facebook user to have your Instagram inbox on speed dial, the new settings have you covered. You have the option to close off message requests from friends of friends on Facebook, for example, or to turn them off for everyone from Facebook completely.