Facebook Unites Messenger Chat With Instagram

Some Instagram users will now be able to message their friends on Facebook’s Messenger app without needing a Facebook account, reported the Guardian. 

The move is the first step in Facebook’s plan to integrate Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, which was announced last year. The effort could effectively cement Facebook’s dominance over the messaging market for years to come, and arguably make it harder to break up the company, which is facing antitrust scrutiny in Washington. Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger each boast over 1 billion active monthly users.

The ability for Instagram and Messenger users to message or video chat with each other is currently being tested in select markets and will expand globally in the coming months. The company did not elaborate further at a media briefing, but it stated that people on Instagram will opt-in to the new experience. It began testing the functionality this summer, but is now rolling the option out more broadly.

Facebook  first teased plans in March 2019 to intertwine its various services, including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook. The idea was that people who only have WhatsApp accounts would be able to message friends on Instagram or Messenger, or vice versa, without having to download an app or switch between multiple apps to send messages. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014, and spun off Messenger into its own app in 2011.

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