Facebook has quietly revived Instagram Lite, a boiled-down, visually-identical version of the social media app. The company pushed its first update to the publicly-listed APK in 11 months after having officially shuttered the service in May, purportedly for a revamp.
TikTok facing bans in two of its most prominent markets is only putting pressure on competitors to step up and fill that gap. Instagram jumped at the chance and quickly expanded its own TikTok clone, Reels, to international markets. The feature currently lives inside the Explore tab, but the photo-sharing app doesn't want things to stop there. Instagram is now trying to push users towards Reels even more by giving it a prominent position on the home screen.
Early last year, Facebook promised that it would create a unified backend for all of its messaging platforms. Messenger, Instagram direct messages, and WhatsApp are all supposed to be interoperable, so you wouldn't have to worry about which Facebook app to use with which of your contacts. It looks like the company is getting ready to make these cross-platform chats a reality, as it has started distributing a popup on Instagram that advertises a Messenger integration.
This story was originally published and last updated .
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 called Reels. The feature, which has been in testing since at least November and seeded to Brazil, is now available globally.
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.
Regardless of what side of any particular issue you're on, political ads kind of suck — and on top of that, it's not even clear how effective they are. The brass at Facebook is acknowledging that fact, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a piece published recently in USA Today that users will soon be able to opt out of seeing them entirely.
Facebook has rolled out Messenger Rooms, its answer to the Zooms and Google Meets of the world, in the United States through its Facebook and Instagram apps. The company announced what was really an expansion of its Messenger video call capabilities last week.
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.
When Facebook announced it was releasing the Portal series of devices for video calls, skepticism abounded. Development on the devices continued unabated though, and they've been extremely well-reviewed. Facebook has come out with several variants in the past two years, including 10" and 15" models; today, its 8" variant, the Facebook Portal Mini, is on sale for just $80.