Facebook has more than a few messaging platforms it calls its own, and it’s decided to start pulling them together. The company announced on Thursday that a new update to Messenger and Instagram lets users create group chats that bridge the gap between the two platforms.
Facebook starts the convergence
It works exactly as you’d think it would. Cross-app group chats let you start chats with contacts off your Messenger and Instagram contact lists. Users need to opt-in to the new feature, but Facebook says more than 70% of eligible Instagram users have chosen to do so already.
That’s not all. A handful of other new features are being added to Instagram and Messenger in addition to cross-app group chats. Messenger is getting a few new chat themes, including a ‘cottagecore’ theme and an astrology one too. Polls are also coming to group direct messages on Instagram and relevant cross-app group chats too for when you and your friends need to take a vote on something. Instagram is also getting its own ‘Watch Together’ feature, which has been on Facebook since last year, that lets you watch videos from your feed with your friends.
And finally, Messenger is getting group typing indicators to better tell you when more than one person is typing. This last one might seem a bit superfluous but we’re always happy to see QOL upgrades.
All that said, cross-app messaging is definitely the most interesting new feature, particularly for the president it sets. We’re wondering when WhatsApp might get in on the action too.