On Thursday, Facebook announced that it will now allow users to start cross-app group chats between Messenger and Instagram. To be able to use the cross-app communications, you’ll have to opt in. Facebook says that over 70% of eligible people on Instagram have updated to the new Messenger experience.
Facebook is bringing many other new features to its messaging apps in addition to cross-app group messaging. Polls will be available in group DMs on Instagram and in cross-app chats so you can, for example, vote on where to grab lunch.
Facebook has added group typing indicators to Messenger, so you can see when multiple people are drafting a message. And you can now use Facebook’s Watch Together feature to watch videos from your Instagram feed with your friends.
Facebook is also adding new chat themes to Messenger, including a cottagecore chat theme, as well as an astrology-themed suite of chat themes, stickers and Instagram AR filters.
Facebook is facing a lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission, alleging that Facebook is a monopoly and must be broken up. But as individual products under the Facebook umbrella rely on each other more and more, it could allow the company to argue that these apps are dependent on one another and cannot be separated.