Facebook seems to flip the switch for the integration of the chat systems for Instagram and Messenger. On Friday night, several editors of The Verge across the country – on both iOS and Android devices – noticed that the Instagram mobile app had an update screen saying, "There's a new way to send messages on Instagram." A list of features was displayed including a "New Colorful Look for Your Chats", more emoji reactions, swipe to answer and the big one: "Chat with friends who use Facebook."
As soon as you click on "Update", the normal DM symbol in the upper right corner of Instagram will be replaced by the Facebook Messenger logo. Chats on Instagram are indeed more colorful than before. The sender's messages alternate between blue and purple as you scroll. At least for now, however, it is not yet possible to notify Facebook users from Instagram.
However, Facebook has made clear its plans to unify the messaging platforms of its hugely popular apps to enable cross-messaging between Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Facebook is said to have rebuilt the underlying infrastructure so that users who only use one of its apps can connect to others through other Facebook apps. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, also said he wanted the system to be encrypted end-to-end. By integrating the most popular apps, Facebook may be able to compete more directly with Apple's iMessage.
Facebook acquired Instagram for $ 1 billion in 2012 and bought WhatsApp for $ 19 billion in 2014. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday evening.