Facebook introduces cross-app communication between Messenger and Instagram, plus other features

Facebook announced today it will begin rolling out new functionality that will allow Instagram and Messenger users to communicate across apps, in addition to bringing a host of Messenger -inspired features to the Instagram inbox. On Instagram, users will be presented with an option to update to a new messaging experience that offers the ability to change your chat color, react with any emoji, watch videos together, set messages to disappear and more. As a part of this update, they’ll also have the option to chat with friends who use Facebook, the app will inform them.

Image Credits: Facebook

The broad set of more “fun” additions to the Instagram inbox will serve as a way to entice users to agree to the upgrade. This decision, in turn, locks users further inside the Facebook universe. With cross-platform messaging interoperability, users may see fewer reasons to try a different chat app as one messaging app can reach friends and family across two of the world’s largest social networks.

Facebook says the new interoperability will also work even if the Instagram users don’t have a Facebook account, and vice versa.

In time, Facebook plans to fold WhatsApp into the experience, too, in a further consolidation of its market power.

Though many users may choose to update for the fun enhancements, Facebook notes they can then opt out of being reachable across platforms using new privacy controls, after the fact.

Through an expanded set of privacy tools, users can specify who can reach their main Chats list, who is sent to the Message Request folder and who can’t reach them at all. If an Instagram user doesn’t want to hear from anyone on Facebook, they can turn this feature off.

Image Credits: Facebook

These controls can also be managed in the new Accounts Center,