The day that people are dreading (or looking forward to for some?) is almost upon us. Facebook has taken that first public step towards its plan to unify its messaging services from its various apps. A new Instagram update, which seems to be available only for select users, is popping up to say “There’s a new way to message on Instagram” and lo and behold, you will get a Facebook-like user interface. But even though it says you can chat with friends who are on Facebook, that part doesn’t seem to be working just yet.
It’s not a secret anymore, at least for those who have been following tech and social media news, that Facebook eventually plans to create a unified system for its Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp apps, which are three of the biggest messaging apps in the world right now. The idea is for users to be able to message across all three platforms, even if you’re just in one of the three apps. But since what they need to do is rebuild the infrastructure, it’s taking some time for this to happen.
But now it looks like they’ve made one step towards this dream as The Verge reports some have seen an update screen on their Instagram app. And if you do click update, the icon on the top right becomes the Facebook Messenger logo. The messaging part itself is now more colorful and the messages are shifting between blue and purple as you scroll down. You also get more emoji reactions, a swipe-to-reply UI, and indicted in the list of new features: “chat with friends who use Facebook”.
However it looks like that last feature is not yet fully live as users are not able to message Facebook users from the Instagram app itself. This may mean that they’re still in the early testing phase that’s why not all users are getting the update just yet. It begs the question though why release an update if you can’t even make the main reason for the update work? Well at least you get a new “look” for the Instagram Direct Messages part.
We’ll have to wait for the next update or a wider version of it as well as an official announcement to see what happens next. It’s also important, at least for WhatsApp users, that they will be able to deal with messaging encryption which WhatsApp users have been enjoying