Facebook has taken yet another step forward in bringing use of the world's multiple instant messaging platforms under one umbrella. Soon, users of services like Facebook Messenger and Instagram will be able to interact with each other directly. Beyond the benefits of cross-platform messaging, Instagram is going to be doing a major renovation of its direct messaging system, expanding it in a way that it incorporates features from Messenger.
These new Instagram message features include options like vanishing remarks, stickers for selfies, personalised emoji icons, a handful of alternative ways to block undesired messages and even the addition of Messenger's "Watch Together," a feature that rose to prominence as people sought to keep in touch with their friends for movie nights while needing to stay at home.
Cross-Platform Messaging Would Be Optional
While users will be free to turn down the new update, Facebook plans on making the slew of new features palatable enough for few to choose that path. Beyond the features of cross-platform messaging, users of these two platforms can also scan over profiles for both apps at the same time. Users are also free to opt out of specific features if they so choose.
Details remain hazy regarding a confirmed date for when this Instagram-Messenger messaging will go live. CNN reported that the feature is currently in the testing phase within specific regional markets, with global expansion to come in the near future. No public timeline exists for when Facebook might start integration of WhatsApp, the other messaging program it owns.
News of the overlap is part of a 2019 plan by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. At that time, Zuckerberg remarked that he wanted to move his social media juggernaut from its status as a public square to one focused on private correspondence. As he mentioned back then, private messages, fleeting stories and small gatherings of people are the greatest sources or growth in the world of online communication. The integration of messaging through various apps, when each weighs in at more than 1 billion users, Facebook is hoping to devour as much of the market as it can hold.
Prior steps taken toward this goal include an app for small business to let them oversee their pages across Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. The Account Centre page was also created to let anyone manage their login details with various Facebook-owned properties from one spot.
This Is Far From An Easy Move
The combination of these social media platforms has been a huge hurdle of infrastructure, especially when one considers bringing the end-to-end encrypted WhatsApp on board. That said, the biggest obstacle is likely to come from government regulation, a sector already concerned with Facebook's dominance in the world of mobile communications.
After Zuckerberg declared his intention to bring joint messaging between Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger last year, Chris Hughes, the co-founder of Facebook, requested that the company be divided up. Hughes' reasoning for the breakup was that Facebook had become a social media monopoly, leaving people with no viable competitor services. Several American politicians, including Joe Biden, parroted these worries. Facebook is also still grappling with several antitrust investigations in different jurisdictions across the globe that even called Zuckerberg to testify with the Federal Trade Commission of the United States in August.