If you are a Facebook user and also own an Instagram account, you might soon notice a slight change in your mobile Facebook app display. In an effort to make it easier for Facebook and Instagram users to access their Instagram account, Facebook will be adding an Instagram link directly in its mobile app. The link will be situated near the top of the screen, right below the link that leads to your personal profile and above the links that lead to whatever Facebook page you manage, if you have any.
The new feature is a small change overall, but it could potentially have a big impact on the number of people who use Instagram. Whenever a user uses the Instagram link from their mobile Facebook app, he or she will land on the main feed just they would if they had launched the app from their home screen. This is a smart move on Facebook’s part, because it might allow the social media giant to keep its users involved with Instagram instead of its competitors – namely Twitter and Snapchat.
While Facebook remains the number one app downloaded of all times, Snapchat is quickly growing in popularity, especially among teenagers, and is threatening to outgrow Instagram. This is why it’s puzzling to me that there doesn’t seem to be the option to link back to Facebook from Instagram. One would think that if the idea is to keep users within certain apps, it would make sense to link all concerned apps in one big happy loop.
TechCrunch reported that a Facebook spokesperson told them “We’re looking at ways to help people stay in touch with their friends on Facebook and Instagram. People on Facebook will be able to see how many of their friends are on Instagram”.
This is a minor change compared to the experiments Facebook led just a few months ago, testing a new feature that would allow cross-notifications between Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. The goal of this feature was to keep people logged in and using the apps, making it impossible to miss a notification from one app while in another. While the tests have not yet resulted in the feature being rolled out for all users, it gives us a good idea of what general direction Facebook is heading in trying to keep users involved and using Facebook-owned apps.