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Facebook took another step today towards unifying its family of apps by announcing that businesses will now be able to receive and respond to Instagram messages from customers on their Facebook page inbox, eliminating the need to toggle between the two services for the purpose of responding to messages.
The change, announced today at Facebook’s Communities Summit, will first roll out to businesses in the U.S. and Brazil in the coming weeks. Businesses can go to the following link to connect their Instagram page to their Facebook account.
It’s a small but important step as Facebook has indicated this year that it wants to do more to unify the messaging services across its various apps, such as WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, and make the experience between the apps more seamless. That includes allowing users of each of those apps to message users of Facebook’s other apps, as Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the company was looking at doing in its fourth quarter earnings call. However, that plan has drawn some antitrust concerns.
The company has said that more than 90 million small businesses use its products — many of them free — and that it has more than 7 million advertisers across all of its apps. Facebook generated $16.64 billion in advertising revenue last quarter.
Facebook also announced today that Pages will now be able to create their own groups, as well as join and post in other groups in the coming weeks. Previously, only individual accounts could join groups. The change comes as Facebook expects more users to share in groups and direct messaging than in NewsFeed over the coming years.
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