Facebook family of apps – Facebook app, Instagram and Messenger – are at the brink of getting a decent cross-app notification system that will enable users to toggle between the apps in a single one.
The leading social networking service is currently testing a uniting feature that shows notifications and also let you switch freely between the apps. That is to say; while on any of the trio – say Facebook – you’ll be seeing notifications from the other two, Instagram and Messenger as they come through.
San Diego-based Facebook marketing expert and social media analyst, Mari Smith, was the first to spot the function on her Facebook mobile app. She then brought it to light by sharing the in-test notification system on her Facebook profile, a move which sparked anxiety on the internet prompting media houses and publications to seek clarification from the horses themselves. Talking to TechCrunch, a Facebook spokesperson actually confirmed the new line of thought saying the company is indeed conducting a test, with a limited group of users, to allow users switch seamlessly between the apps. And that they are also testing a similar feature for Instagram and Messenger.
In the image shared by Mari, a profile picture seems to replace the Messenger icon, which appears on the top right corner of News Feed in older versions. Along with the profile photo is a red jewel showing impending Facebook, Messenger and Instagram notifications. The ring expands on clicking to a cross-app notification menu of the three services alongside red badges with the number of unseen notifications for each. From there, you can head straight to Messenger or Instagram by tapping on their icons without leaving Facebook.
Facebook has acquired popular social media platforms in the past and has weaved them together into an impressive ecosystem. The company acquired Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014 for a whopping $19 billion, its largest venture to date. Messenger was then separated from the main app and made a standalone app for instant messaging. The social networking powerhouse then linked the apps such that you can post photos to your Facebook account through Instagram. Also, Messenger has been launching from within the main Facebook app via its icon on the top right corner. Therefore, the in-test feature is just meant to take that union a notch higher.
With the new trail, the company intends to increase the time users spend in its family of apps by making it easy to switch between Instagram, Facebook and Messenger. However, the company’s largest acquisition and the planet’s leading instant messaging app – WhatsApp – is not moving in together with her siblings in the new ecosystem.
Apart from giving you the freedom of accessing all your accounts in one place, this feature comes in handy as it will also make it a little bit easier to get rid of maddening notifications from all your accounts in one place. On the flipside, seeing incessant glimmering red badges seeking your attention all day long can be annoying and frustrating. Besides, some users don’t fancy having different accounts in one app.
Update your Facebook app, maybe, you could be one of the few lucky users privileged to test the feature ahead of others, but in case you don’t make the list there are tons of updates and tests that have been rolled to the service in the past few weeks. Here is a recap:
- There is a new in-test navigation on mobile
- You can now create up to 5 featured photos on Pages
- A new search box is now available on each personal profiles
- In-test ability to order food directly within Facebook.