FAQ: What Does Messenger & Instagram Merger Mean For Users?
Facebook is looking to merge all three of its messaging platforms under one roof.
It was back in January last year when reports surfaced online that Facebook is planning to merge all of its social media platforms under one roof.
The report mentioned that each app will operate as a standalone one but there would be an underlying structure that would allow users to message across all three apps — Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp — from a single application.
Well, Facebook has finally rolled out an update that merges Facebook Messenger with Instagram, only that it’s currently available to only select users.
But how does this merger affect users and why is Facebook pushing for a feature like this? Let’s take a look.
How Have the Apps Been Merged?
Facebook hasn’t made an official announcement about the merger but according to The Verge, some users in the US have already received the update on their devices.
The new feature is available on both Android and iOS where the Instagram app will receive a pop-up message reading “There’s a New Way to Message on Instagram”. The notification also shows some of the new features coming with the merger.
Once you hit update, Instagram’s interface changes with all the modifications in place.
What New Features Are Available?
The merger brings a host of new features like “new colourful look for your chats,” more emoji reactions, swipe-to-reply, and the biggest update of them: “chat with friends who use Facebook.”
After Instagram is updated, the DM logo at the top-right is replaced by the Facebook Messenger logo. The chat interface adds more colour as the sender’s messages transition between blue and purple as you scroll.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also said he wants the system to be end-to-end encrypted.
However, right now, it isn’t possible to message Facebook users from Instagram.
Why Does Facebook Want To Merge Apps?
Since Facebook is already a dominant player in the messaging space it wants its users to have a seamless experience in terms of switching between apps.
With this move, Facebook might be looking to target users who use only a single platform like WhatsApp or Messenger.
Also, by integrating all of its services in a single platform Facebook is trying to directly compete with Apple’s iMessage.
What Does the Merger Mean For Users?
Imagine the convenience of not having to switch between apps to communicate with your friends or business associates on different platforms.
Currently, the update only merges Messenger with Instagram but it’s possible that WhatsApp will also be integrated into this system making the more than 2 billion users of WhatsApp accessible on apps like Instagram and Messenger.
The overall merger would create a 3.3 billion user super messaging network, accounting for about 43 percent of the world's population on a single messaging platform.
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