• Facebook has added Messenger to Instagram
  • It replaces the popular social media app's direct messaging feature
  • It will allow Instagram users to communicate with Facebook users right there on the app

Facebook is integrating the Messenger app into the popular social media app Instagram, a report reveals.

Social media giant Facebook is adding its Messenger messaging platform to Instagram, The Verge reported. This was spotted by several of the tech outlet's editors across the country.

The addition of the messaging service comes to Instagram users on Android and iOS users.

The integration was announced via a pop-up update screen that appears once Instagram is launched. The screen tells users, “There's a New Way to Message on Instagram,” then proceeds to show a list of features that come with the integration.

First, it said there's a “new colorful look for your chats,” and indeed there is. Images posted by a Twitter user showed how the new interface looks – chat bubbles appear more colorful, with the sender's messages featuring a gradient that shifts from purple to blue as the user scrolls.

Second, it allows users to “react with any emoji.” The same images posted on Twitter showed that users can react to messages using emojis similar to Messenger.

Third, it allows users to “swipe to reply to messages.” Not much is known about this feature at the moment, but it's safe to assume that it will let users send replies to others faster.

Lastly, it allows Instagram users to “chat with friends who use Facebook.” While The Verge noted that sending messages to Facebook users from Instagram is not yet possible, this last feature here is worth noting as it shows the Mark Zuckerberg-led company is serious in its plans to allow cross-messaging between its various apps.

Sources told The New York Times last year that Zuckerberg's company plans to integrate the messaging systems of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. They said the company will work to rebuild the three apps' underlying infrastructure so they could be unified to work together.

The integration will mean that users across Facebook's apps will be able to communicate with one another even if they don't use the same app. Instagram users, for example, will be able to message Facebook users who don't have Instagram accounts.

A Facebook spokesperson also said the company is working to make its messaging platforms offer end-to-end encryption.

The Instagram logo is pictured. AFP/LOIC VENANCE