Facebook’s plan to integrate its messaging apps has taken another small step forward this week, with Instagram testing out a new option that would enable you to view your Messenger messages in your Instagram Direct inbox.
Instagram has confirmed the test, though it also says that it’s not ready for a consumer roll-out just yet.
As we’ve mentioned before, we’re working on making our messaging services work across our apps. This is an early prototype, which we aren’t testing externally.
— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) June 3, 2020
The function, as noted, is part of Facebook’s broader plan to enable full cross-messaging functionality between Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, which will mean that users will eventually be able to send and receive messages to and from any of these services. That’ll also likely mean that your inbox will need to be replicated within each app, which is a significant undertaking for Facebook to undertake – but the end result will be that any message you receive, in any Facebook messaging app, will also be available on the other two platforms.
Given this, you can also expect that for any new messaging feature introduced on any of these apps, the other two will also soon enable the same.
Facebook hasn’t made a lot of noise about the ongoing project, but this test confirms that it is still in progress, and Facebook is very much pushing ahead with its messaging integration plan.
In addition to this, Facebook is also testing out a new sticker type with some users.
As you can see in these screenshots, posted by marketing consultants FDT, the new ‘Plans’ sticker enables users to set a schedule for an online meet-up, which may link also into Facebook’s new Rooms offering.
When you add the Plans sticker, you’ll be able to add a date, as well as info on how your Stories viewers can join the meet-up. Your Stories viewers will also be able to see who else, among their friends, has registered interest in the event.
Aside from setting up hangouts among friends, the option could also be good for webinars or product announcements, with the added context of seeing who, among your connections, is also attending.
There’s a range of ways it could be used to help promote different types of meet-ups. We don’t have a lot of context on the option as yet, but FDT is based in the US, so it may be in the process of rolling out to US users.
Neither of these updates is major, but they do provide new considerations, and new opportunities, with messaging set to become easier across Facebook’s apps, and online events gaining momentum amid the COVID-19 lockdowns.
We’ve asked Instagram for more info on each, and we’ll update if/when we hear back.