The long-awaited monster of Frankenstein has finally arrived… Instagram and Facebook have melded their minds and created a singular messaging platform. This has been a long time coming (see the multitude press releases I am too lazy to reference), but it is still shocking that they have actually managed to execute this plan.
My surprise is not predicated upon their technical prowess, but rather on their battles against anti-trust suits, where a merger like this would only seem to provocate the issue – but, no one ever said world domination would be easy.
What does this actually mean?
In real terms, it means it is going to be harder to ghost your friends and messages. Why? Because your messages for both IG and FB are now going to be funneled to one central place.
Additionally, it means that Facebook will be able to “connect” you with people across multiple platforms. Meaning if you made a “connection” with someone on IG they could now message and connect with you on Messenger. Seems harmless enough, but it could lead to a proliferation of messages from brands in the long run, or unforeseen and unwanted connections to people you’ve been digitally keeping at arms length only to find they can now they can target you across multiple platforms.
What Does This Mean For Marketers?
Yes, consumers will probably view this whole thing through their grayest, foggiest lenses because even though people love to use IG for product discovery, they want to do it on their own terms, without marketers hitting them up on IG asking if they’ve received a FB message. Flipside, we marketers really do have some fantastic opportunities here.
We will now be able to connect with our “fans” across multiple platforms from a single place and ensure that no communications are lost. Additionally, when we get someone to opt-in we can actually enhance their lives on the platforms where they “live”, instead of spamming the airways – looking at you old school brands that only focus on TV advertising.
Finally, I would say that although this may provide us with a pass into our consumers lives, this privilege is not without consequence. I would warn anyone who gets permission to enter the shared inbox to not abuse this privilege, as I am sure it will be as quick to disappear as it was to be granted. So, be responsible out there, make the connections you are actively seeking to reinforce, and be conscientious about how you manage these relationships