Facebook has quietly taken another step towards the unification of its messaging apps with the announcement that Facebook Page admins will now be able to respond to Instagram Direct Messages from their Facebook Page inbox.
The detail is included within a larger post about changes to Facebook groups, announced at the latest Facebook Communities Summit - in amongst the various group updates, Facebook notes the change, which is reportedly being rolled out first to US and Brazilian users in the coming weeks.
This comes on the back of a New York Times report that Facebook's looking to integrate the messaging functions of Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp into a single platform - though Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has since clarified that such a shift is still a long way from becoming a reality.
Merging the various messaging functions would simplify communications across Facebook's family of apps, connecting a much broader range of users, while it would also reduce the potential of Facebook's tools being broken up into separate elements if tougher regulatory measures were to be imposed on the company in future.
The update was first reported earlier in the week, but now Facebook has officially confirmed the merge, which will make it easier for businesses to manage their direct communications from both Facebook and Instagram in one place.
Facebook first rolled out the capacity to manage Messenger, Facebook and Instagram interactions in its Page Manager app back in 2016, with a unified notifications stream across the three apps, but that merger did not include Instagram messages, which have since become a much larger consideration. Around half of all Instagram users now utilize Direct, it's messaging feature, and with an increasing number of people also looking to connect with brands on the platform, the integration makes perfect sense.
With more businesses looking to tap into the rising popularity of Instagram, the functionality could prove hugely beneficial - as noted, the roll-out will begin in selected markets over the next few weeks.