Facebook deepens Instagram integration with new crossapp chat features and more

Facebook is continuing to ramp up its efforts to deepen integration between Facebook and Instagram. This time, the company has announced a handful of updates to Facebook Messenger, including group cross-app communication for communicating with contacts from both Messenger and Instagram in one group.

Facebook explains:

With this update, people will be able to start group chats between their Instagram and Messenger contacts. Within these cross-app group chats, you can continue to customize your chat experience with chat themes and custom reactions.

Facebook also notes that all group chats, regardless of whether they are cross platform, will offer the same controls over who can reach you:

You’ll still have the same controls over who can reach you. With delivery controls, you decide who reaches your Chats List, who goes to your Message Request folder, and who can’t message or call you. We love adding fun new features, but our number one priority is keeping safety and privacy top of mind!

Apple, take note: Facebook is also adding typing indicators to group messages, allowing you to see when others are typing. This is a feature I’ve been calling on Apple to adopt for group iMessages for years.

Facebook last year launched its SharePlay-like “Watch Together” feature, which allows you to view Facebook Watch videos together in real time with your friends. Today, it’s expanding this feature to support watching content directly from your Instagram feed together with friends as well.

Instagram DMs are also adding support for polls, as well as a handful of new “expression and personalization tools” such as themes and custom designs. You can get the full details in Facebook’s blog post right here.

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