Facebook appears to flip the switch on introducing Instagram and Messenger chat systems. On Friday evening, several editors at The Verge across the country — on both iOS and Android devices — noticed an update screen popping up in Instagram’s mobile app with the message “There’s a New Way to Message on Instagram” with a list of features including a “new colorful look for your chats,” more emoji reactions, swipe-to-reply, and the big one: “chat with friends that use Facebook.”
Once you hit update, Instagram’s regular DM icon at the top right is replaced with the Facebook Messenger logo. Chats are even more vibrant than ever on Instagram, with the messages from the sender alternating between blue and purple as you scroll. However, for the moment at least, Instagram’s message to Facebook users is still not possible.
But Facebook has made clear its plans to unify its immensely successful apps’ messaging channels to allow for cross-messaging between Messenger, Instagram , and WhatsApp. Facebook was said to rebuild the underlying infrastructure so that users who were on only one of its apps could use different Facebook apps to connect to others. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has also said that he wants the device to be encrypted end to end. Facebook would be able to deal more directly with Apple’s iMessage by combining the most common features.
In 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion, and purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014. The company did not respond to a request for comment immediately Friday evening