In January 2019, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg promised his company would merge chats from its mobile Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger apps into a unified messaging experience. Today, the social networking behemoth announced a new milestone toward that goal as the Messenger and Instagram chats have now been officially merged into one.
A splash screen on Instagram announces the new Messenger features.
You can use reactions and custom chat colors like on Messenger. Other features include swiping to reply, forwarding, customizable chat colors and watching videos together. Message, call and reshare posts with people across Instagram and Facebook,” reads the splash screen. If you click the Update button, the old version of the chat will no longer be available to you.
We’re also adding more than 10 new features so you can stay close to your friends. Selfie stickers are a unique hybrid of Boomerang, emojis and selfies – and a new way to react to conversations. Watch Together lets you watch trending videos with friends on IGTV during a video call. We’re also introducing vanish mode, where you can set messages to automatically disappear after they’re seen.
The image embedded right ahead depicts the Watch Together feature, Vanish mode and more.
According to the company, Messenger users can now place VoIP calls to Instagram users right from the Messenger app, and vice versa. Messages and calls from friends and family using Instagram will stay in your Instagram app. You can decide where you’d like receive messages and calls, including in chats, in your message requests and not at all.
Here’s everything coming to the new Messenger experience on Instagram:
- Communicate across apps: Seamlessly connect with friends and family across Instagram and Messenger by using either app to send messages and join video calls.
- Watch together: Enjoy watching videos on Facebook Watch, IGTV, Reels (coming soon!), TV shows, movies, and more with friends and family during a video call.
- Vanish mode: Choose a mode where seen messages disappear after they’re seen or when you close the chat.
- Selfie stickers: Create a series of boomerang stickers with your selfie to use in conversation.
- Chat colors: Personalize your chats with fun color gradients.
- Custom emoji reactions: Create a shortcut of your favorite emojis to react quickly to messages from friends.
- Forwarding: Easily share great content with up to five friends or groups.
- Replies: Respond directly to a specific message in your chat and keep the conversation flowing.
- Animated message effects: Add visual flair to your message with animated send effects.
- Message controls: Decide who can message you directly and who can’t message you at all.
- Enhanced reporting and blocking updates: Now you can report full conversations in addition to single messages on Instagram, and receive proactive blocking suggestions across Instagram and Messenger when you add your accounts in the new Accounts Center.
Other features, including custom emoji reactions and selfie stickers, will hit Instagram first before coming to Messenger. According to the post, this is a staggered server-side update (no app update needed) that has begun rolling out in stages “in a few countries around the world” before expanding globally “soon.”