Facebook launches cross-app group chats for Instagram and Messenger users
Last year, Facebook launched a cross-app communication feature, allowing Instagram users to connect one-on-one with Messenger users without having to download the latter—and vice versa. Now, the company is rolling out cross-app group chats for Instagram and Messenger. It also launched several new features like polls on Instagram DMs and group chats, group typing indicators, a modified Watch Together feature, and expressive chat themes.
Polls, group typing indicators, modified Watch Together feature
Another new feature—polls on Instagram DMs and group chats—will help groups decide on topics like what to eat and where. With the new group typing indicators, users will know when multiple friends are typing a message. Meanwhile, with the modified version of Messenger's Watch Together, users can watch Reels and IGTV videos directly on their Instagram feed along with their friends.
Expressive chat themes on Instagram and Messenger
New chat themes such as Cottagecore, inspired by a romanticized pastoral world, and Astrology, a cosmic world, were launched. Enhancing the Astrology theme are AR effects such as changing the signs with just a head nod. A sticker pack featuring designs for every sign is also coming soon. Facebook also launched a dreamy theme to celebrate the release of J Balvin's new album.
Privacy options kept intact for users' safety
Moreover, users can use the delivery controls to decide who enters their chats and group chats, who ends up in the Message Request folder, and who can't message them at all. "We love adding fun new features, but our number one priority is keeping safety and privacy top of mind," wrote Sateesh Kumar Srinivasan, Director of Product Management, Facebook Messenger, in a blog post.
Most users have switched to cross-app communication
Over 70% of Instagram users have "updated to the new Messenger experience" to enjoy new features, including cross-app communication, Srinivasan informed. Also, Facebook allows Instagram users—who don't want to connect with people on Messenger—to turn off this feature and vice versa. TechCrunch reported last year that Facebook also plans to include WhatsApp in this fold and integrate the cross-app messaging experience on its platforms.