Facebook overhauls Instagram messaging, enabling cross-app chats with Messenger


Facebook said on Wednesday (Sep 30) it would start replacing the direct messaging service within Instagram with a version of its Messenger app, the first major step in its plan to tie together messaging across its suite of apps.

The move enables users of each service to find, message and hold video calls with contacts on the other without needing to download both apps.

It also introduces features like custom emojis and themes that have been mainstays on Messenger but were not previously available in Instagram’s minimalist messaging product, along with new features like disappearing messages.

If users accept the update, the messaging icon in Instagram will change to the Messenger logo. As on Messenger, Instagram users – who have not been able to forward messages – will be able to do so to a maximum of five people at a time. 

An initial launch will begin on Wednesday in a few unspecified countries and then be rolled out globally soon.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg first announced a vision for cross-app messaging early last year. The company eventually aims to integrate WhatsApp and extend end-to-end encryption across all three services.

The move is likely to figure in antitrust deliberations over Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, which are the subject of several probes. Antitrust experts have raised concerns that weaving the services together could make it more difficult for regulators to break up the company.

Today's Vocabulary

1. tie (v)
relate to or connect to

2.  encryption (n)
process of changing electronic information or signals into a secret code (= system of letters, numbers, or symbols) that people cannot understand or use without special equipment

3. roll out (phr.v) 
to make a new
product, service, or system available for the first time

4. deliberations (n) considering or discussing something

5. hold (v) 
to have something such as a
meeting or an election

6. probes (v)
try to discover information that other people do not want you to know, by asking questions carefully and not directly

7. minimalist (n)
belonging or relating to a style in art, design, and theatre that uses the smallest range of materials and colours possible, and only very simple shapes or forms

  1. Who is Mark Zuckerberg?

  2. What concerns have Antitrust experts raised?

  3. What is the vision of cross app messaging?

  4. What features do Messenger and Instagram introduce?
  1. What kind of information are you comfortable releasing to the public?

  2. What new features would you like to see on social networking sites?

  3. Are social networking sites for people who aren’t good at meeting people face to face?

  4. What are some good and bad points about social networking?

  5. Why do you think companies choose to collaborate?