By now you’ve probably read a lot about Facebook’s effort to slowly kill off Facebook Messenger so it can more effectively take over the world. Things are slowly coming to a head now, what with Messenger Lite being quietly launched to a limited audience back in November, and a public unveiling being today followed by a launch by Research and Analytics, a fourth quarter release, which will force one of Facebook’s biggest, most popular apps to either make it all the way there or die.
But Facebook isn’t done yet. With that in mind, the company announced its update plans for Messenger’s parent app, Instagram, today during its Q4 2018 earnings call. The company revealed that it will finally be testing out “Log in with Facebook” functionality for Instagram Direct, meaning that instead of having to know someone’s Instagram profile, you can just click through to their Facebook profile, then click the “Log in with Facebook” link so that they’re logged in and logged in with you — even if you’re a public figure who just wants to privately message someone on the app, you’ll be logged in in order to send them the DM.
If you ask me, this makes a lot of sense. An old master (Sam Eto’o) has recently switched to Twitter, and this is why, because if you’re already on Facebook, then all the best emails will also be in your notifications. Now they’ll be sent to Instagram too. For more privacy and security, why would you want to use a feature that would leave your email address on Instagram, instead of Facebook? In short, maybe because you get creeped out by other people seeing your stuff? But, at least, you won’t have to.
This may not matter very much if Facebook’s partnership with Pinterest has been successful, as users of Facebook could be accidentally chatting with people they don’t want chatting with, while others who have never even seen their profile can start to communicate with them through the service. I know I’m not big on using Instagram — it’s a cringey digital diary for me, with my millions of tagged selfies and my alarming number of bucket list travel stories. But Facebook is hoping that people will use Instagram more, because they know they’ll learn more about what you’re into by interacting with you in the same way you interact with them on Facebook. Instagram is really an extension of Facebook, and so having users log in with Facebook is the Facebook’s way of giving the ultimate level of comfort back to users.
There’s only one caveat though. While users will be able to login with their existing Facebook accounts now, they won’t be able to login with those who don’t have a Facebook account yet. It’s not something that will change very soon though, because Facebook is aiming for a full release by the end of this year. With Google wanting to take over the planet, as well as being the most popular email service in the world, Facebook wants to do everything it can to cling on to its market share, and that’s just what it’s doing here.