Facebook has been trying to create a cross platform chatting experience (amidst accusations of monopolistic practices) for a long time now, and took a step in that direction last month with an update for Instagram. Today, the social media giant is extending the same courtesy to its other messaging platform-Messenger.
Facebook said that the cross-platform messaging function will be rolled out to Messenger users in North America soon, through an update. The new update include cross-platform messaging between Instagram and Facebook(duh), a vanish mode and a logo change.
The cross-platform messaging works like this– if you are an Instagram user, you can chat with any Facebook user using Instagram’s Direct Message and vice-versa. A user may not need a Facebook account to chat with Facebook users on Instagram and similarly, one is not required to have an Instagram account to chat with an Instagram user on the Messenger app.
Users will also have the additional option to switch off the feature on their respective Messenger app or Instagram DM, in case that’s not your thing.
While Instagram users were allowed to opt-in for the update to the new messaging feature, Facebook Messenger users won’t have the same privilege. Instead, the feature will be rolled out automatically to all the Messenger users in North America.
Moreover, to celebrate this merger, Messenger is getting a visual overhaul, including a new Messenger logo which comes with additional Instagram inspired colors. Facebook said in its blog, “Our new logo reflects a shift to the future of messaging, a more dynamic, fun, and integrated way to stay connected to the people you’re close to.” This means the default chat color is also changed to the new Instagram inspired colors.
Facebook also rolled out new chat themes for the Messenger app, which it says will help users customize and personalize their conversations more. These new chat themes include ‘love’ and ‘tie-dye’. Users will also get new custom reactions that will allow them to use different emojis apart from the default ones.
Another new feature, Selfie Stickers, allows users to take a picture of themselves and make it a sticker to use it during a conversation. A new vanish mode will help users automatically delete a message after it has been read.
Facebook in its announcement last month had clarified that this merger doesn’t mean that the inboxes of the users with both, a Facebook and an Instagram account, will be merged. It also said that it is not necessary to have the other messaging app (either Messenger or Instagram) to make use of the new cross-platform feature.