Say 👋 to Messenger: Introducing New Messaging Features for Instagram

Posted on September 29, 2020

An image of Messenger & Instagram cross campaign

Today, we’re announcing an update to Instagram DMs by introducing a new Messenger experience on the app. Messaging has come a long way since we first brought it to Instagram. We’ve been exploring how messaging should evolve as we grow. On Facebook’s family of apps alone, people send more than 100 billion messages to their friends and family each day. These days, we rely on video calls to hang out with friends, send memes and GIFs to communicate what we really think (but can't always say), and share funny photos and voice notes to stay in touch.

People are communicating in private spaces now more than ever. More than a billion people already use Messenger as a place to share, hang out and express themselves with family and friends. That’s why we’re connecting the Messenger and Instagram experience to bring some of the best Messenger features to Instagram – so you have access to the best messaging experience, no matter which app you use. People on Instagram can decide whether to update immediately to this new experience.

Image of update screens on IG

In our research, four out of five people who use messaging apps in the US say that spending more time connecting with friends and family on these apps is important to them, yet 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.

We're also adding more than 10 new features so you can stay close to your friends. Selfie stickers are a unique hybrid of Boomerang, emojis, and selfies – and a new way to react to conversations. Watch Together lets you watch trending videos with friends on IGTV during a video call. We’re also introducing vanish mode, where you can set messages to automatically disappear after they’re seen.

Images/gifs of watch together, selfie stickers & vanish mode

Messages and calls from friends and family using Instagram will stay in your Instagram app. The main change is that people using the Messenger app can now reach you on Instagram without you needing to download a new app, and vice versa. You can also control where you receive messages and calls, such as in your chats, in your message requests or not at all.

Image or gif of cross-app messaging and calling

The Best of Messenger

We’re also bringing familiar features from Messenger like replying to a specific message, forwarding a message, and customizable chat colors and themes. Every day, more than 10 million people customize their chat threads in Messenger with custom colors and nicknames. You’ll be able to use custom emoji reactions, and soon, message effects to put more emotion and visual flair behind your reactions and messages.

Over time, you’ll see even more fun ways to connect with friends and family. Some features such as custom emoji reactions and selfie stickers will be available on Instagram first and will come to Messenger soon after.

Here are all the features coming soon to the new Messenger experience on Instagram:

  • Communicate Across Apps: Seamlessly connect with friends and family across Instagram and Messenger by using either app to send messages and join video calls.
  • Watch Together: Enjoy watching videos on Facebook Watch, IGTV, Reels (coming soon!), TV shows, movies, and more with friends and family during a video call.
  • Vanish Mode: Choose a mode where seen messages disappear after they’re seen or when you close the chat.
  • Selfie Stickers: Create a series of boomerang stickers with your selfie to use in conversation.
  • Chat Colors: Personalize your chats with fun color gradients.
  • Custom Emoji Reactions: Create a shortcut of your favorite emojis to react quickly to messages from friends.
  • Forwarding: Easily share great content with up to five friends or groups.
  • Replies: Respond directly to a specific message in your chat and keep the conversation flowing.
  • Animated Message Effects: Add visual flair to your message with animated send effects.
  • Message Controls: Decide who can message you directly, and who can’t message you at all.
  • Enhanced Reporting and Blocking Updates: Now you can report full conversations in addition to single messages on Instagram, and receive proactive blocking suggestions across Instagram and Messenger when you add your accounts in the new Accounts Center.

Privacy and Safety

With this new update, you’ll have choice and controls to manage your privacy, including whether message requests go to your Chats list, your Message Requests folder, or whether you receive them at all. We offer tools for people to report suspicious activity, and take action to block someone across apps to stop unwanted messages and calls when something doesn’t feel right. You can learn more about your privacy here.

Image of messaging controls & reporting

We’re rolling out these new features on Instagram and Messenger in a few countries around the world, and we’ll expand globally soon. This is only the start to making it easier to stay in touch with friends and family across our apps. Stay tuned for even more fun ways to connect in the future.

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