Facebook has managed to be one of the most influential technology companies in the global economy (1). Therefore, when we learned that Mark Zuckerberg has reached a new stage in the merger of its messaging systems, the world echoed the news. Little by little, the technology giant is fulfilling what it announced a few years ago.
In this article, we will discuss certain aspects related to this new merger. From how we can apply it on our devices to what possible repercussions this update will have on our privacy and our user experience.
- This merger has not yet been applied to the vast majority of users. The company is still testing it to check if it works correctly.
- Its use is optional, although it is very likely that in the near future it will be mandatory to have it on our mobile devices.
- It attributes important benefits to us such as simplicity when contacting someone, viewing content with someone else, reactions to messages with emojis, and much more.
What you should know about the Instagram and Facebook merger.
Facebook announced in 2019 that it intended to unify all its messaging systems, including Whatsapp. This development is the first step aimed at realizing this merger, however, the company still has quite a bit of work ahead to fully polish this update and incorporate it in all countries.
This table shows us the most used messaging applications in 2022. As we can see, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger occupy first and third place respectively.
The fact of merging two platforms can contribute to Facebook’s certain benefits, such as reaching productive synergies that allow it to reduce the cost of maintenance and updating or improve its market share by increasing users using its platform (2).
What does the merger between Instagram and Facebook consist of?
The merger of Instagram and Facebook will aim to connect their two messaging systems in order to allow everyone to contact their friends across platforms. Whatsapp is yet to be unified, which is quite difficult due to the end-to-end encryption system that the app uses.
The end-to-end encryption is performed when the user who sends the message encrypts it and the one who can decrypt it is the one who receives it, so no intermediary can read the message, not even the company that owns the server (3).
In addition, this update is not available to all users. This is because they are testing this update with a small number of people. So if you have not seen any notice related to this new feature, it is because it has not yet been applied to your account.
Can the merger of Instagram and Facebook have a negative impact on our privacy?
While it is true that Facebook has sought to implement ways of encryption to increase the privacy of its users, the debate is on the table. And even more so, knowing the problems that have arisen in the company over the years (4). Here are the most obvious advantages and disadvantages of this update:
- Use of end-to-end encryption
- The existence of unified databases facilitates the work of data preservation
- Each individual chooses who can send them messages
- When leaving a conversation, messages are deleted
- Increased difficulty in tracking online crimes
- Easier to sell data to companies
- The user you previously blocked from Facebook Messenger will not be automatically blocked on Instagram
- It’s easier for cybercriminals to steal data from Facebook
How to merge Instagram Direct Messenger and Facebook Messenger?
It should be noted that this update is optional, although in the near future it will probably no longer be. Despite this, Facebook is encouraging its use by launching animated stickers for all those who decide to install the update.
Now, if we want to merge the messaging systems of Instagram Direct Messenger and Facebook Messenger, we have to follow the following process:
Once all this is done, we go to the Instagram application, from the home page:
- Select “More information about this change”
- We continue in “Continue to update”
- We finally hit “Update”
- We leave the Instagram app, we enter the Facebook Messenger app and in the little window that comes up we hit “Done”.
How to send messages from Facebook to Instagram
To be able to send messages from one platform to another, we have to perform the following process:
- Enter the Instagram app.
- Press the Messenger icon that appears in the upper right corner of the app.
- In the search bar, enter the username of the person you want to send the message to. Instagram profiles will appear in your search, and Facebook profiles will appear below them.
- After selecting their profile, a “You are sending a message to a Facebook account” message will appear.
This update still has some limitations. The most notable is that we can only send messages from Instagram to Facebook to individuals and not to groups or pages. The same happens on Facebook, so if you want to chat in a group, you must do it directly from the app.
What are the benefits of merging Instagram and Facebook?
After having talked about what this new feature consists of, the reasons that may be behind its development, and the possible implications it may have on our privacy, let’s analyse the different advantages that we can extract from this update and how our user experience can be improved.
More simplicity when sending messages between users
First, having a single application to send messages to your contacts greatly streamlines conversations and reduces the time spent searching for messages and chats.
Mosseri A, Chudnovsky S – CEO of Instagram, CEO of Meta Messenger: […] one in three people sometimes find it difficult to remember where to find a particular conversation thread. With this update, it will be even easier to stay connected without thinking about which app to use to communicate with your friends and family (5)
Moreover, the interface becomes customizable like Facebook Messenger. This allows us to optimize our interface as much as possible so that we can find our chats and messages much more easily.
Finally, reactions to messages have been introduced through emoticons. In this way, we will be able to communicate more information in less time and more easily.
New innovations that improve the experience.
Other additions have also been added that allows us to enjoy a more pleasant experience. In the following table, we will specify what they are and what they bring to the platforms.
|New||What it provides|
|Watching videos with someone else||It is possible to watch Facebook and Instagram content, movies or series simultaneously with another contact.|
|Ephemeral mode||Messages are deleted after leaving the conversation. It also alerts you if someone takes a screenshot.|
|Chat personalization||Not only does it give us more fluidity, but we can also modify the aesthetics of our interface.|
|Privacy control||Each person can choose who may or may not send messages to them.|
|Simultaneous content submission||It is much quicker to share a particular piece of content with several people at once.|
Although this new update gives us great benefits such as the ease of sending messages, the free customization of our interface, or the ephemeral mode, it is necessary to have a certain critical mentality and evaluate if this novelty can really suppose a detriment to the privacy of our personal data.
If you are concerned, for this reason, it is not mandatory to install the update on your device. In addition, it has not yet been applied to everyone, as it must pass the tests. If you still want to install it on your mobile, you can follow the steps we give you in this article.