Facebook has announced a number of new features for Messenger and Instagram Direct, including group conversations between apps so you can engage in group discussions between the two apps, new engagement metrics to increase engagement, and surveys in your IG DMs.
The main add-ons are Instagram-Messenger group chats between apps — as Facebook explained:
“Last year, we announced an exchange of messages between apps between Messenger and Instagram. With this update, you will be able to start group conversations between your Instagram and Messenger contacts. ”
So, functionally, it’s not a big change, given that the ability to chat in two apps between individuals has been available since September last year. But it adds another element, while it’s another step in Facebook’s broader messaging plan, which will eventually include WhatsApp, allowing users of each individual platform to send messages to others in any app they choose.
It will also require full encryption of Instagram’s and Messenger’s DMs, in line with WhatsApp’s security settings, which appear to be a bigger hill for the company.
Various governments have expressed concern about Facebook’s efforts to add more encryption options to its messaging tools, but given that WhatsApp users are already nervous about any potential data sharing on Facebook, there will be no other option, Facebook will also have to provide full encryption offer in all your messaging tools or give up the integration process.
He seems determined to make progress, as Social Network announced additional encryption elements for Messenger last month, so you can expect this to become a much bigger point of discussion as Facebook wants to take the next and biggest steps into a larger project.
As you can see in the image above, Facebook is also adding surveys in Instagram DMs, which will also be available in group chats among apps.
“The Messenger feature, a fan favorite, polls, is now available in your Instagram DMs and group chats in a variety of apps, making it easy for the group to decide which new show will be the most affordable or which restaurant to go to next weekend. ”
This could provide another opportunity for engagement, while functionality among applications is, again, another big step in consolidating integration efforts and merging the entire suite of messaging tools.
Facebook is also adding new group typing indicators, which will be displayed when your friends are typing at the same time.
As you can see, you will now be able to see when several people are knocking at once, which could add to the discussion in active rooms.
Facebook is also adding new chat themes on Messenger and IG, as well as “Astrology art suites”, including wallpapers and new AR effects.
Astrology has become increasingly popular in the last year, and Snapchat has also added new astrological integrations to increase engagement.
Finally, Facebook will now allow viewing along with the Instagram feed, providing another way to initiate discussion and engagement in chat.
“Now you can watch your favorite content directly from your Instagram channel along with your friends. Just start a video chat inside Instagram, scroll to the post you want to share, then click the share button and watch together ”
This could be especially useful for IGTV, if it helps increase viewing activity in both applications.
Although short videos continue to appear as a key content option, private messaging is the primary platform of social connections for most people, as we have gradually moved away from social broadcasting, and increasingly toward interaction in smaller, more intimate groups.
Indeed, this has always been the case, people have decided to share more with their closest friends. But due to the growing division and toxicity on social media, as well as the negative influences of the ‘culture of cancellation’ and other behaviors responsible as a result of publicity, more people returned to smaller groups and shared with like-minded people, accepting people they know and trust.
This is where Facebook has a significant impact given that it controls the world’s two largest messaging apps. It has not yet been clarified how to monetize them effectively, but such add-ons lean on the broader trend of messaging, while seeking to facilitate and better conduct business messages through add-ons like Instagram messaging ads and WhatsAppa business expansion tools.
At the same time, the gradual integration of its messaging apps could, at least in theory, make it harder to break up Facebook, if at some stage it was considered the best advancement in the industry.
That proposal has been made several times in various antitrust investigations, with Facebook acquisitions of both WhatsApp and Instagram being cited as examples of how the company is using its scale to maintain market dominance.
If this had ever been proven, in legal terms, Facebook could be forced to discontinue both apps – but if both of these apps become part of the wider Facebook platform, it might work through a single background, it just wouldn’t be possible. This could also be the reason why Facebook has added the Facebook brand to both apps in recent years, despite the potential negative connotations in both cases.
Regardless of the logic, Facebook seems determined to pursue its full integration plan, and the expanded interconnection of Messenger and IG Direct is another small step in that direction.
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