We first heard about Facebook merging the chat features between Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger back in January and we’ve seen the start of that work with the latest Facebook app refresh. Now a report from Bloomberg says that Instagram’s chat feature will be rebuilt with Facebook Messenger’s technology.
In March this year, Mark Zuckerberg gave a keynote detailing where the company and its services are headed. One of the goals is to create interoperability between all of the company’s apps.
Interoperability. People should be able to use any of our apps to reach their friends, and they should be able to communicate across networks easily and securely.
In order to do that, Bloomberg’s sources say that engineers at the company are using the underlying tech from Messenger to rebuild Instagram Direct with the current design not changing “much.” Further, employees working on Instagram Direct are now reporting to the Messenger team.
Engineers are working to rebuild Instagram’s chat feature using Facebook Messenger’s technology, according to people familiar with the matter. That will make it possible for Instagram users to communicate with those using Messenger, something they can’t do now. To make that technically easier, Instagram’s direct-messaging staff now reports to the Facebook Messenger team, said the people. The look of the photo-sharing app’s messaging product, called Instagram Direct, won’t change much, but the underlying technology powering the service will, the people said.
The report also highlights Facebook’s plan to rebrand Instagram and WhatsApp to include “from Facebook.”
Facebook recently said it was going to change the external branding of Instagram and WhatsApp to “Instagram from Facebook” and “WhatsApp from Facebook.” Employees of the divisions will also change to Facebook email addresses, instead of being reachable @instagram.com or @whatsapp.com, people familiar with the company said.
Instagram’s founders left the company last fall and while they kept their official responses cordial, it’s believed that they became frustrated with Zuckerberg’s control. Similarly, WhatsApp’s founders also left irritated and one has called for users to delete Facebook a couple of times.