Your Instagram direct messages are getting a refresh if you opt-in.
Facebook announced plans on Wednesday to update Instagram DMs by introducing experiences from Messenger to the app. The social media giant is also rolling out a suite of 10 new tools to make Instagram more engaging in the stay-at-home era.
Facebook said in a blog post that more than a billion people use Messenger to "share, hang out and express themselves." That's why the Mark Zuckerberg-led company is taking some of the most highly used Messenger features and adding them direct messaging on Instagram, the company said.
" We've been exploring how messaging should evolve as we grow," said Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, and Stan Chudnovsky, the vice president of Messenger, in a joint blog post.
So what's new? On Instagram, you'll be able to forward a message to someone else and customize your chats with colors and various themes, which Facebook says is a popular tool on Messenger. You'll also get new ways to interact with your friends and followers.
"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," Facebook said.
One of the new features for DMs on Instagram is Vanish Mode, which sorta works like messages on Snapchat. If you activate the mode, written messages will disappear after they've been seen or after you exit the chat.
You'll also gain the ability to create shortcuts to your favorite emoji reactions, and you'll be able to use various animations to add "visual flair" to direct messages you.
Facebook is rolling out a way for you to view videos on Facebook Watch, IGTV and eventually Reels over a video call with friends or family members. Imagine a Facetime-style video chat where both parties can view entertainment remotely while still being able to see each other's faces.
One of the less glitzy, but probably more useful new tools is the ability to communicate across apps.
You'll also be able to use the Messenger app to shoot a note to someone on Instagram. Just type in their name in the search bar on Messenger, and you'll be able to write them a note. You can also use either app to join video calls.
The whole experience is completely opt-in, so you can keep things the same if you want. As far as safety is concerned, you'll have more controls to manage your privacy, including whether message requests from people who aren't your friends or followers go directly to your Chats list, your Message Requests folder, or whether you receive them at all.
You'll also be able to block someone who's bothering you across apps to stop unwanted messages.
©2020 USA Today
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.