It has been more than four years since Facebook bought Instagram, but so far there’s been little evidence of integration between the two.
That’s about to change.
Facebook has announced plans to roll out an integrated inbox in which business users can manage customer communication from Facebook, Instagram and Messenger all in one place.
The update is likely to be of particular interest to SMEs, since large organisations will probably manage social communication through third-party applications.
The new inbox will be packaged into Facebook’s free Pages Manager app, and will be rolled out globally over the next few weeks. To connect their accounts, all users have to do is click on the message icon at the bottom of the app screen, then tap on the Instagram tab and log in.
Accounts that are already connected via Instagram adverts will be automatically updated.
Users will also be able to view a unified stream of all their content, including comments on Facebook posts, posts on their Page, messages and comments on their Instagram and videos. Individual channels will be accessible from tabs for users wishing to keep things separate.
Benji Shomair, Facebook’s global head of Pages, said the unified inbox was “one of our most frequent requests,” adding: “There were some people even carrying multiple phones so that they can quickly respond to all the different things coming in.”