New Group Chat Experiences: Cross-App Chats, Chat Themes, Polls and Watch Together

Our goal is to help people feel connected even if they can’t be together. That’s why we’re super excited today to be bringing you new group messaging features to share with your friends and family. You can now start cross-app group chats with both Messenger and Instagram friends, outfit your chats with new chat themes, and watch exclusive content from Cardi B, Steve Aoki and Travis Barker. We believe that messaging should be about people – like your squad, your family, or your fellow foodies. 

Rich Messaging Experiences for Groups

Last year, we announced cross-app messaging between Messenger and Instagram. We wanted to bring some Messenger magic to Instagram so you could have access to the best possible messaging experience! Cross-app communication has made it easier for people to stay connected without thinking about which app they use. In fact, over 70% of eligible people on Instagram have updated to the new Messenger experience to enjoy new features like cross-app communication.

To build on this great momentum, we’re excited to announce the launch of group cross-app communication! With this update, people will be able to start group chats between their Instagram and Messenger contacts. Within these cross-app group chats, you can continue to customize your chat experience with chat themes and custom reactions. 

We’re also introducing polls to your Instagram DMs and group chats with friends across Messenger and Instagram, making it easier for the group to decide which new show is most binge-worthy or which restaurant you all go to next weekend. 

You’ll still have the same controls over who can reach you. With delivery controls, you decide who reaches your Chats List, who goes to your Message Request folder, and who can’t message or call you. We love adding fun new features, but our number one priority is keeping safety and privacy top of mind!

Over the past year, group chats have been a lifeline for many of us. To help you feel more present in your group chats, we’ve created Group Typing Indicators so you can see when others are typing. 

Expression and Personalization Tools

We know that expression and personalization are important, sometimes your chat’s gotta reflect your mood. We’ve been working on releasing new expressive chat themes for everyone on Messenger and Instagram to enjoy. 

To experience the popularized Gen Z aesthetic, we launched the Cottagecore chat theme 🍄. The theme is inspired by a romanticized pastoral world, and now you can personalize your chats with this niche theme. 

To help J Balvin fans celebrate the release of his new album, we launched a dreamy chat theme inspired by the album artwork. Now fans can reminisce about their favorite songs from the album while adding flair to their chats.

Mercury is in retrograde again, and to keep the good energy flowing we’ve launched an Astrology art suite. Get your group chats in a cosmic frame of mind with the Astrology chat theme, and check out the Astrology AR effect (nod your head to change the sign!) and sticker pack (coming soon) with designs for every sign. 

Shared Experiences 

Some things are better together. Think about the time that you sent your favorite music video to  your friend, or when you binged watched a new show with your family. People bond over these shared experiences, and we are always working on creating tools for you to create these special moments.

Last year, we launched Watch Together – which allows you and your friends to watch all your favorite Facebook Watch videos together in real time including music videos, TV shows, and movies on Instagram and Messenger. Since the feature rolled out, we’ve worked with some of the most interesting and entertaining celebrities on original content like Steve Aoki and Travis Barker’s exclusive virtual concert and Cardi B’s series “Cardi Tries__” where she attempts outrageous new challenges.

As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve launched a new episode, “Cardi B Tries Latin American Food” with Indya Moore and Chefs Jaime & Ramiro where she dives into her Latin roots. Most recently, Cardi B also tried her hand at becoming a wildlife expert with Chloe Bailey and Dr. Evan Antin. To make it easier for you and your friends to bond, you can now watch your favorite content directly from your Instagram feed together with your friends. Just start a video chat within Instagram, scroll to the post you want to share then click on the share button and Watch Together! 

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