Facebook Messenger launches cross-app group chats, further integrating with Instagram – TechCrunch
Facebook Messenger is launching a bunch of products this morning, including cross-app group chats. Last year, the company introduced cross-app messaging between Messenger and Instagram, but now users will be able to start group chats between Instagram and Messenger contacts.
Other additions today include polls in Instagram DMs, building on the poll feature that exists in Messenger. Messenger also adds group typing functionality to group DMs – whatever app you’re chatting on – to help users see when their friends are typing at the same time. Additionally, as Instagram embraces video content, users will now be able to use Messenger’s existing Watch Together feature to view Instagram posts like Reels and IGTV videos at the same time.
These updates come just hours before the company is set to testify before the Senate on Instagram and Facebook’s harms to mental health. But these additions have more to do with a separate government investigation into Facebook’s operations. Facebook is facing a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit alleging that Facebook is a monopoly and must be dismantled. But as individual products under the Facebook umbrella increasingly depend on each other, it could allow the company to argue that these apps depend on each other and cannot be separated. Last month, as Facebook Messenger celebrated its 10th anniversary, a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company viewed Messenger as “connective tissue on any surface.”
Along with the updates that further integrate Facebook and Instagram, Messenger has added a few fun ones for those of us who love customization and fear the downgrade of Mercury. Now there’s a cottagecore chat theme, along with a suite of astrology-themed Instagram AR chat themes, stickers, and filters. Because what do teens love more than cottagecore and star charts?