Facebook and Instagram messages merge: is this the death of ‘sliding into the DMs’?

Facebook Messenger has merged with Instagram DMs, allowing cross-platform messaging on the apps for the first time, along with other new features.

2020 threw us another twist today after Facebook decided to merge Instagram’s direct messaging service with Messenger in its next step to world domination.

Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri (@mosseri), believes this will make communication across the platforms easier and more fun with its new set of features.

iPhone Messenger & Instagram Merge

The optional update has been rolled out to only a few countries and will go global “soon.” According to Mosseri, the update will combine “some of the best messenger features to Instagram”, allowing users to send chats, photos, and videos between Messenger and Instagram for the first time.

Facebook Messenger users will now be able to use Instagram-specific features such as Selfie Stickers, Watch Together, and Vanish mode, as highlighted in the video below.

The merge will also include Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which will bring end-to-end encryption to the three, as mentioned in CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s post A Privacy-Focused Vision for Social Networking, which outlines the new standard for privacy across the three apps.

The updates have also included greater privacy between the platforms, allowing Instagram users the ability to opt-out of being contactable from Messenger users. Instagram users will also be able to choose who reaches the main chats list and the message requests folder, and who can’t contact them at all.

The update also solves the issue of not being able to find a specific chat thread between the users’ various messaging services, as Mosseri says:

“One out of three people sometimes find it difficult to remember where to find a certain conversation thread. With this update, it will be even easier to stay connected without thinking about which app to use to reach your friends and family.”

The merge requires specific user privacy changes that allow the accounts to be merged; so time will tell if the shiny new features will be enough to lure users in after Facebook was embroiled in major privacy issues as recently as 2018. Zuckerberg made a statement when the merge was proposed in 2019 on the social media giant’s lack of trust from users:

“I understand that many people don’t think Facebook can or would even want to build this kind of privacy-focused platform — because frankly we don’t currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services, and we’ve historically focused on tools for more open sharing. But we’ve repeatedly shown that we can evolve to build the services that people really want.”