There are still a number of people who probably do not know that Instagram is owned by Facebook. This fact is bound to change after the social media company began a new initiative to connect these two platforms along with the Facebook Messenger through one dedicated interface.
A Facebook Unified Inbox
The link is anchored on a new mobile app, which Facebook is calling the Pages Manager. Essentially, it is a unified inbox that allows a user to respond to a message in Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Instagram from one location. The service, which is getting tested as of this writing, will only be available to business users in the coming weeks.
"You'll be able to quickly scan all three channels for new updates and feel confident that you aren't missing an important message," Facebook Business said in an official statement. "You can reply to Facebook comments, visitor posts, reviews, messages and Instagram comments directly from the updated inbox by tapping on the content you want to answer."
Using The Pages App
To use the app, Facebook is asking business users to link their Facebook and Instagram accounts first. For those who already linked their accounts, the update on the app will be automatic. Once connected, the accounts will appear on the Pages interface.
Inside the Pages Manager, Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Instagram are only mere tabs. So if one wants to check messages from each, it is now possible to navigate the channels with one or two taps.
Why Business Users?
Rolling out the Pages Manager to business users makes sense especially if they maintain accounts on both Facebook and Instagram, and use the Facebook Messenger as part of a social-media-based customer relations management system.
To answer a customer query at Facebook, a user will open an app, and then he will have to open Instagram if another customer posted a question in that platform.
"There were some people even carrying multiple phones so that they can quickly respond to all the different things coming in," said Benji Shomair, global head of Pages.
Pages effectively centralizes everything so that a Facebook comment, an Instagram note and a concern coursed through Messenger could all be read and addressed within one dedicated inbox.
It appears that Facebook wants to capitalize on its humungous user base to challenge companies that are in the business of CRM technologies. Facebook has also recently launched other features that enables the platform to become more conducive to business.
At this point, there is no word yet whether the Pages Manager will also be available to ordinary Facebook users.