Facebook seems to be acting on its plan to unify messaging across its apps, however slowly. People at The Verge (and likely elsewhere) have received notice through Instagram’s Android and iOS apps that they’ll have the ability to “chat with friends who use Facebook” — that is, Messenger. The signature paper airplane icon for DMs has been replaced with Messenger’s logo. You can’t actually message Facebook friends yet, however, suggesting the announcement might have come early.
The update also brings a “more colorful” appearance to chats and the option of replying to messages by swiping on them.
We’ve asked Facebook for comment.
The company hasn’t been shy about its hopes of unifying chat across Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp with encryption as a common feature. It wants to create a more private social space, and having access to all your friends from one app could help. Of course, this also comes right as Facebook is dealing with intense government scrutiny of its practices, including its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. It may end up uniting the services right as officials are ready to split them apart.