Now that Facebook is slowly making its messaging apps more of a cross-platform party, a lot of the new features that they’re rolling out to Messenger will also be available on Instagram, at least on its Direct Messaging part. The new goodies they’re rolling out to the two apps include a way to watch videos together called Watch Together and new chat themes including a special one for the massive Army (that’s Korean group BTS fans for the uninitiated). Plus, Vanish Mode, which we discussed before, is coming to Instagram soon too.
Watch Together has actually been available for some Messenger users but is also now coming to Instagram. From the name itself, this feature lets you and your friends watch things like IGTV, Reels, TV shows, movies, and other trending videos on Facebook Watch through real-time video chat. You also get some Facebook-exclusive videos that you can watch over Messenger and Instagram like the two new shows they’re promoting, “Post Malone’s Celebrity World Pong League” and “Here for It With Avani Gregg,”.
Chat themes were recently introduced when they revamped Messenger and now they’re adding a new special one specifically for fans of Korean group BTS. TinyTAN has characters based on the seven members of the band and both can be activated on Messenger and Instagram. You’ll be able to share emojis, have a listening party from their new album as week as customize your message reactions when you activate the theme.
Vanish Mode is another new feature that was recently introduced but it is an opt-in feature if you want to be able to send self-destruct messages with your contacts. As soon as your contact is able to read your text, meme, GIF, or reactions, it will vanish, hence the name. You can only turn on this mode if you follow each other on Instagram or if you’re connected on Messenger. It’s already available for Messenger users in the U.S. while it will be rolling out to Instagram soon.
If you update to the new Messenger experience on Instagram, you’ll also be able to enjoy some of the new messaging features that Facebook recently introduced like selfie stickers, custom emoji reactions, animated message effects, and message controls. No word yet on when WhatsApp will be joining the messaging party.