Facebook and Instagram are both working on a new feature that will allow users to import Instagram contacts into Messenger according to Techcrunch.
Facebook has been testing a way for users to cross-post Instagram Stories to their Facebook timeline this past September, and finally released the feature to everyone in early October. Users can also launch Instagram directly from the Facebook app, making for an even more integrated experience across the two apps.
According to an Instagram spokesperson via email, the contact-sync feature makes it very easy for users to connect their two accounts (Instagram and Facebook), and completely opt-in. Simply launch Facebook Messenger, tap on the People tab and then hit “Connect to Instagram.” You’ll then tap a button to connect to your Instagram account, which will find all your mutual Messenger contacts from the photo-sharing service. The app will offer the option to start conversations with those people, or you can skip it and just get back into Messenger proper.
The integration is yet another example of how Facebook is leveraging its multiple mobile properties smartly to keep users in its ecosystem, and building out an even larger social network as a result. After all, not all Instagram users are Messenger users or Facebook users.
Facebook is Instagram’s parent company, and it’s not coming as a surprise to many that this little change is being made. With the change, Facebook will more than ever be able to make Instagram stronger and more popular. In the US for instance, the ephemeral app is being edged to the second spot by Snapchat—and though, that may not last for long, Instagram knows that it still has a lot to do to close the gap.
Facebook and Instagram aren’t formally announcing the launch of this feature, but it is understood that’s it’s something the company has recently begun testing.