Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Facebook said Wednesday it has combined Instagram with Facebook Messenger in the latest step to integrate the two platforms.
Messenger replaced Instagram's old messaging service, Instagram Direct, a move that will allow users to send chat messages, and share photos and videos between the two platforms. It's part of Facebook's bigger plans that would include the incorporation of WhatsApp into Facebook as well.
"More than a billion people already use Messenger as a place to share, hang out and express themselves with family and friends," Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, and Stan Chudnovsky, head of Messenger, said in a statement. "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."
Facebook said users will be able to communicate across apps seamlessly, watch videos together, customize emoji reactions, incorporate message controls and easily forward content. The integrated platforms also will offer enhanced reporting and blocking for safety.
"In our research, four out of five people who use messaging apps in the [United States] 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," Mosseri and Chudnovsky said. "With this update, it will be even easier to stay connected without thinking about which app to use to reach your friends and family."