Facebook will now let you message across Messenger and Instagram

Facebook has finally taken the first step towards merging its messaging services. The company will now allow you to message your contacts across Messenger and Instagram from both apps.

You’ll be able to send messages or initiate video calls to your contacts using either app. Plus, the company is introducing features to let you watch videos from Facebook Watch and IGTV with Reels being added soon.

In a blog post, the company said people can choose not to opt into this experience for now:

More than a billion people already use Messenger as a place to share, hang out, and express themselves with family and friends. That’s why we’re connecting the Messenger and Instagram experience to bring some of the best Messenger features to Instagram – so you have access to the best messaging experience, no matter which app you use. People on Instagram can decide whether to update immediately to this new experience.

However, it provided no clarity if users will be forced to make this choice later on. It’s also not clear if people using Messenger can opt-out of the integration.

There’s natural concern regarding data sharing and privacy, given it’s handled by Facebook. The company says it will “collect information from Instagram and Messenger primarily to provide the service, improve the product experience, and keep people safe and secure.” It’s important to note that neither Messenger nor Instagram DMs is protected by end-to-end encryption by default.

Plus, you’ll have controls to restrict, who can message you, and whose messages go to the request folder.  You can also choose if you don’t want a certain set of people to not reach you at all.

privacy control on Instagram

However, blocking accounts is a bit complicated. The block applies to only that particular platform and account. You would need to add your Instagram and Facebook account to the account center to see accounts of people you’ve blocked on both platforms.

Facebook says these features are rolling out to select countries now, and the company will expand them globally soon.

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Published September 30, 2020 — 12:35 UTC

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