Early last year, we got word that Facebook was considering cross-platform chats between WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger, running on a unified, encrypted backend. After the first small steps towards compatibility in the form of Messenger Rooms in WhatsApp, we now see this cross-app integration taking shape. According to WABetaInfo, a few hints have appeared in Facebook Messenger that reveal how the company is working on a way to contact WhatsApp users through the app.
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Social media platforms have maintained slimmed-down versions of their apps in the past few years to grab more users from developing markets with low-end hardware. Facebook, however, has decided to shut down Instagram Lite and is now redirecting users to the main app. The company has not said why.
As more of us are stuck inside during the novel coronavirus pandemic, Instagram is rolling out a number of new features. The most interesting among them is the ability to watch videos live with friends during video calls, but the social network is also adding links to coronavirus resources from the World Health Organization, plus a "Stay Home" sticker (seen above) that adds posts to one big story.
Facebook doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to minding its users' privacy, and Cambridge Analytica exploiting the social network's third-party APIs for unchecked data collection surely hasn't helped. Now, we've found another service called Ghosty that takes advantage of Instagram's API to create a stalker paradise. By crowdsourcing the data of all of its users' Instagram accounts, it lets anyone view many private profiles.
Chasing like counts on social media and seeking approval from your friends are known to have a toll on your mental health and self-esteem. Instagram took it upon itself to curb such prevailing behavioral ramifications when it began hiding likes from posts for some of its users earlier this year. This change is being tested in seven countries worldwide, and the US will join the list as soon as this week.
Not long after revealing its new, inclusive, and color-shifting corporate logo, Facebook is taking another step toward unifying its various social media applications through Facebook Pay, a payment system like Venmo that will work across Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram apps. With Facebook Pay, the company says the payment process will become easier for its users to buy and sell things online, and it will help businesses to grow.
Instagram, and then all of Facebook, famously and shamelessly copied the feature that made Snapchat stand out of the crowd: Stories. Now Instagram is turning its attention toward the latest hot social media platform, TikTok, and has released its own take on it in Brazil. It's called Reels and lets you share 15-second video clips of lipsyncing with music coming from a huge catalog.
Today Facebook has unveiled its new logo that attempts to clearly differentiate between Facebook the company and Facebook the social media service that Facebook owns. In addition, it is continuing to push more of its branding on apps, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, by marking Facebook ownership in a more conspicuous manner. We thought the company had already made things pretty clear when it rebranded earlier this year but clearly that was just the beginning.
A few days ago, BuzzFeed reported that Instagram was removing one of the most berated features of its app, the Following tab. That has indeed been the case, with the app first showing a blank tab with a disclaimer that it's going away, then completely removing it in the most recent update.
After years of pining from enthusiasts, more and more Android apps are starting to get dark modes. Most of Google's offerings now have them available, and Nova Launcher just added official support yesterday. Instagram has now become the latest application with an official dark theme, though only for Android 10 (and iOS 13) for now.