Imagine a world in which the messages you receive on Facebook also appear in WhatsApp, or Instagram. Simultaneously. We’re not fans of jargon at 24 fingers (we prefer to keep it simple and straight) but that’s our kind of synergy – and the boffins at Facebook are working its socks off to make it a reality, after a 2019 promise made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to unite the three apps.
It emerged earlier this month that Instagram was quietly testing a system that would allow Messenger communications to appear in users’ Instagram Direct inboxes. The news comes hot on the heels of Facebook Shops, which links businesses’ Facebook and Instagram pages.
The feature is nowhere near ready for any sort of consumer roll out, judging by Instagram’s tweeted response to Alessandro Paluzzi’s screenshot, shared by Matt Navarra. “As we’ve mentioned before, we’re working on making our messaging services work across our apps. This is an early prototype, which we aren’t testing externally”, the platform replied.
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) June 3, 2020
Facebook has kept the development work on this feature on the down-low, possibly with good reason. For it to work, the inbox of every user signing up for the service would have to be replicated within each app, and that’s no small amount of tech heavy lifting, even for Facebook’s engineers.
Zuckerberg’s grand plan does face a few other hurdles, too, most notably the thorny issue of guaranteeing end-to-end encryption, and US regulator’s concerns about Facebook’s monopoly of a messaging service with more than two billion users.
That said, if they can get it to fly, that seamless interconnection between Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp will be a boon for marketers, making it even easier to manage direct communication with customers. We say watch this space…
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