In early 2019, Facebook hinted at its plan to merge Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. The merger would allow for cross-platform messaging between all three apps.
And now, 18 months on, it looks like Facebook is finally putting those plans into action. A small number of users have the option to update Instagram Direct, a sign that a Messenger takeover is coming.
Most users have mixed feelings about the ambitious idea of a cross-platform chat integration between Facebook’s three platforms. Despite this, it looks like Facebook has already begun the Instagram-Messenger merge.
As reported by The Verge, some Instagram users have been receiving a notification when accessing their direct messages (DMs). The prompt reads, “There’s a New Way to Message on Instagram.”
The top of the notification shows both the Instagram and Messenger logos, an obvious sign of the upcoming merge.
The prompt then goes on to describe all of the new features coming to Instagram Direct. According to the note, you can update the app to get a colorful chat interface, more emoji reactions, and a swipe-to-reply touch gesture. And while the notification mentions that you can message users from Facebook, you can’t use that feature just yet.
You can opt to install the new chat system by hitting Update at the bottom of the screen, or you can save it for another day by pressing Not Now. Once installed, you’ll get the new features listed above, and the familiar DM paper airplane icon will get replaced by Messenger’s logo.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hopes that Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp can eventually operate off of a universal chat platform with end-to-end encryption. However, there’s still no official date on when this will happen.
Over time, more Instagram users will likely see the Instagram update pop up on their phone as well. But in the meantime, you can check out these hidden Facebook Messenger tricks.