Facebook now allowed users to use Instagram’s photo-sharing service and Messenger‘s chat software to connect with each other on Wednesday. The overhaul is part of the expected convergence of the leading messaging apps of the social network.
With updates, users using Instagram will now send picture, video, or text messages to anyone using Facebook Messenger, and vice versa. The two apps worked independently, without any contact. Facebook said it will introduce about 10 pre-exclusive features to Instagram. These include social video watch sessions, a short message function, and “selfie stickers.”
Why the move?
Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Executive of Facebook, planned to stitch Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp last year. He pointed out that more users interact privately online. That’s a big contrast from Facebook’s early days, where people anonymously exposed their digital “walls.”
“We’re basically giving people the ability to do something they all want to do across apps,” said Stan Chudnovsky, vice president of Messenger at Facebook, in an interview.
Mr. Chudnovsky said over 100 billion messages are sent through Facebook’s app group every day. That much exceeds the 24 billion SMS text messages exchanged daily on cell carriers at peak about 2015.
What makes it better?
Lawmakers and regulators shared fear that Mr. Zuckerberg’s merger proposal is more of a tactic to prevent Facebook from falling up. The business is under extreme antitrust pressure, particularly over the years as it acquires smaller rivals. Its opponents claimed that Facebook effectively neutralized competitive risks. Mr. Zuckerberg addressed questions under oath last month as part of a Federal Trade Commission investigation about whether Facebook violated competition laws.
The networking potential is immense. Most of the planet was split into networking networks, with regional players appearing to control. Japan’s Line is the country’s most common service. Tencent’s WeChat pervasive in China.
Yet America’s been an exception, according to Facebook studies. Americans appear to have three or four mobile messenger applications, Mr. Chudnovsky said. One in three U.S. consumers often lose track of chat threads through used applications, he added.
Mr. Chudnovsky said integrating Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp would help Facebook keep its rivals off. Apple is one of the biggest connectivity enablers mounted on any iPhone. Google is scaling up its initiatives by promoting a large messaging language intended to function through smartphones and wireless carriers. And Signal, the secure messaging software, has gained popularity in recent years.
What’s with the content?
Messenger’s architecture will support Instagram’s 10 latest features, including expanded colors and stickers for chat messages, animated message effects, and others.
Facebook also aims to launch Watch Together, enabling users to stream videos or movies inside Messenger on a video call with friends or relatives. The device is identical to that from other media firms, including one Disney launched Tuesday with its Disney+ online video service. After the coronavirus pandemic started, Facebook has actively supported community video chats.
For now, Instagram and Messenger integration would eventually roll out to users in a few countries; Facebook didn’t say when. People in certain nations would also determine whether or not to opt into newly developed services.