Editors at US tech website The Verge reportedly spotted an Instagram app update over the weekend that could mean some big changes for the way that Direct Messages work. The update popped up on screen for some US users, with a message that said: “There’s a New Way to Message on Instagram”.

It then listed the new features of the update, which included:

  • ‘New colorful look for your chats’
  • ‘React with any emoji’
  • ‘Swipe to reply to messages’
  • ‘Chat with friends who use Facebook’

At the bottom of the screen, screenshots showed a button that prompts you to ‘Update’ the app. When users clicked it, the DM icon in the top right was replaced by the Facebook Messenger icon.

Instagram and Messenger merging Inbox messages
 

Chats also become more colourful as messages changed colour to blue and purple, and Facebook’s much-loved ‘reaction’ buttons also made an appearance, as you can see in this picture from Twitter user @yukeshnp:

 

This update hasn’t been spotted in the UK yet and for now, you still can’t message Facebook users from Instagram, but we suspect that you won’t have to wait long. According to a report in the New York Times back in January 2019, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wanted to unify the technical infrastructure of all three of the social media giant’s messaging apps – WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.

For business users, this kind of integration could make responding to messages much easier. Firstly, because users of any of the three apps would be able to directly contact your business via your social media page. Secondly, it means no more switching between app layouts with different confusing features! If all three inboxes have a similar layout, you’ll only need to learn how to use one.

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