Facebook takes a big step in connecting Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp

This is the first step in Facebook’s plan to integrate Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, announced last year. These efforts could effectively limit Facebook’s dominance in the messaging market over the coming years, and arguably make it harder to argue that the company is facing anti-trust scrutiny in Washington. Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger each boast of 1 billion active monthly users.

The ability for Instagram and Messenger users to message or video chat with each other is currently being selected in select markets and will expand globally in the coming months. The company did not give further details at the media briefing, but said people on Instagram would like the new experience. It started testing functionality this summer but is now coming out more widely.

The company declined to give a timeline for when the same functionality will be available for WhatsApp.

Facebook (FB) In March 2019, for the first time, it planned to launch its various services, including WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook. The idea was that people who only had WhatsApp accounts could send a message to friends on Instagram or Messenger, without having to download an app or switch between multiple apps to send messages. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014, and launched Messenger in 2011 in its own app.

In a briefing with reporters before Wednesday’s announcement, when asked how difficult it would be to undo the integration if regulators wanted to separate its business, Vishal Shah, head of Instagram’s product, said the effort was a “huge investment” from an infrastructure standpoint. ”

“The systems we were sitting in were not the same. We had to get to a place where they had the same infrastructure. We had to move both the features and the important things to Facebook Messenger, as well. [Instagram] Direct, ”Shah said, but he also noted that many of the“ underlying architecture ”between Messenger and Instagram has been shared, such as advertising and commerce.

In addition to being able to chat with each other, Instagram and Messenger will also get some upgrades. Users who prefer a new experience can send “selfie stickers” – a hybrid of boomerangs, selfies and stickers – watch IGTV or Facebook Watch videos simultaneously and turn on a new “vanish mode” in which messages automatically disappear Is. ‘Behold.

When asked about the possibility that cross-communication could open the door to harassment, Instagram replied that users can block anyone in apps. In addition, new privacy settings have been added so users can decide who to contact, and Instagram users may decide not to receive messages from Facebook users, and vice versa.