In 2019, Facebook announced plans to fully integrate its messaging services to improve communication among its supported platforms. The latest development reveals that the feature is now randomly being tested in some regions. This apparently allows select Instagram users to send messages to their friends on Messenger even if they do not have a Facebook account. Eventually, the social network company intends to enable this functionality as well on WhatsApp. Analysts say it is in response to anti-trust allegations from the government's lawmakers.

The individual messaging apps each boast more than 1 billion active users every month, reports CNN. It seems that the initial phases will involve direct messaging from the photo-sharing and social network services. People selected to participate will be asked to opt-in on Instagram, while those on WhatsApp might need to wait a little longer before this option would be made available. The original idea was to start with the latter, but it looks like changes will start with the former instead.

Vishal Shah, Instagram head of product, was recently interviewed about what the integration bodes for regulators. He described the move as a "massive investment from an infrastructure perspective" when asked about the possibility of regulators requesting Facebook to separate its platforms. "

"The back end systems that we were sitting on top of were not the same. We had to get to a place where they were similar infrastructure. We had to move features and important things over across both Facebook Messenger, as well as on [Instagram] Direct," explained Shah.

Furthermore, it was revealed that Instagram was selected instead of Whatsapp for the trial since it uses the same "underlying architecture" for commerce and advertising. Currently, those who already opted in will have access to "selfie stickers" which is a fusion of stickers, selfies, and Boomerang. Additionally, users can also view Facebook Watch and IGTV video together. Then there is the new "Vanish Mode" wherein messages immediately disappear after they are read.

A lit sign is seen at the entrance to Facebook's corporate headquarters location in Menlo Park, California on March 21, 2018. (Photo: JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Privacy settings have been updated as well which permits users on Instagram and Facebook to block communication from others. Over the years, privacy and security guidelines have regularly been updated to ensure people are aware of what information can potentially be accessed by hackers. As such, everyone is encouraged to review their account's settings and choose the appropriate options.