Facebook is integrating Instagram and Facebook Messenger.
Facebook users can now message Instagram users without needing to download a new app, and vice versa, although they can also opt out.
In January 2019, Facebook announced its plan to integrate parts of Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Even though they will remain standalone apps, the move to bring the chat companies together could raise antitrust concerns over its messaging dominance.
Facebook had been developing the feature in part to keep users from migrating to rival messaging services, like Apple iMessage and Google Chat.
European Union lawmakers expressed concerns over user privacy in January after Facebook announced its intentions. Facebook also faces antitrust scrutiny in Europe and the U.S. But, CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued that social media users have many chat options.
“More than a billion people already use Messenger as a place to share, hang out and express themselves with family and friends,” the company said. “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’s messaging apps have a combined 3.14 billion unique users each month, according to its second quarter 2020 earnings release.