After months of speculation, Facebook is starting to merge Instagram and Messenger chats | Tech/Gadgets

Facebook Inc is reportedly working on integrating the messaging function of its Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger apps. — AFP pic

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 18 — Rumours about the company’s plans to unify the chat systems for Instagram and Messenger first arose in January 2019, and it appears that the merge is getting underway.

At the time, the New York Times reported that Facebook employees were working on reconfiguring how WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger function at their most basic levels, in an effort to “make it easier to reach friends and family across networks.”

Though the project is reportedly still in development, several editors at The Verge have noticed changes with an update of the company’s apps on Apple Inc’s devices as well as Android devices.

Once updated, Instagram’s mobile app embeds Messenger functionality, offering users a list of new features that include a “new colourful look for your chats,” more emoji reactions, swipe-to-reply and the ability to “chat with friends who use Facebook.”

Although the Verge mentions that it is still not possible to message Facebook users from Instagram for the moment, this new update could be the company’s latest effort to consolidate its ecosystem while keeping people from rivaling messaging services.

Earlier this week, secure communications app Telegram added video calling to its feature list on both Android and iOS. The company also announced that this new functionality incorporates end-to-end encryption, unlike video calls on competitor Zoom.

While WhatsApp is Facebook Inc’s only service using end-to-end encryption by default, Mark Zuckerberg mentioned plans to offer encrypted messaging in Instagram and Facebook Messenger as well. — AFP-Relaxnews

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