In a blog post, Facebook confirms that the ‘Watch Together’ feature is now available in Instagram direct messages and in Messenger as well. To use this feature, users will have to start a video chat on Instagram or Messenger. The ‘Watch Together’ option should be available in the menu option once the video chat starts. Facebook claims that it has added two shows – “Post Malone’s Celebrity World Pong League” and “Here for It With Avani Gregg” – for Watch Together. Alternatively, you and your friends can also tune into IGTV, Reels, other TV shows, movies and trending videos in real-time over video chat.
Messenger users, and Instagram users who have opted for the Messenger experience, are also getting new chat themes. These include themes like tie-dye and love for better personalisation. Facebook adds, “And we’re adding a special chat theme on Messenger and Instagram with TinyTAN, a group of lovable characters created from the seven members of BTS. Once you update to the new experience, you’ll be able to activate the TinyTAN chat theme on Instagram and Messenger. Express your affection with emojis, share your favorite songs from the new album or customize your message reactions for your perfect TinyTAN-themed chat.” The new themes can be activated by going into chat settings on Instagram and Messenger.
Instagram and Facebook Messenger are also getting the new vanish mode that makes messages disappear once you leave a chat thread. This can be turned on by swiping up in an existing chat thread. To turn it off, users will have to swipe up again. Facebook says only people who are following each other on Instagram or who are connected on Messenger can use vanish mode in one-on-one chats. This is an opt-in feature which users can choose to be in, or not. When in vanish mode, users are notified when someone takes a screenshot of the chat.
Facebook is slowly rolling out vanish mode to Messenger users in the US and a handful of other countries, It is expected to launch for Instagram users in the US near future, and Messenger users in EU should also get it soon. As for other regions, there is no clarity on the rollout yet.
Should the government explain why Chinese apps were banned? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.