Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Some Facebook users have recently noticed that they can now watch their Instagram stories right from within the main social network app. Facebook has long allowed (and encouraged) cross-posting of Instagram stories to Facebook to help build momentum for its own version of the format — but a new test brings Instagram stories right into Facebook for direct viewing.
You’ll know whether you’re looking at a Facebook or Instagram story based on what color encircles the profile photo; Facebook stories have blue circles, and Instagram’s have the same pink / orange hues of the app icon.
Facebook is being very clear that nothing about who can see your stories is changing; only your Instagram followers who’ve linked their Facebook account — and who can already see your stories — will see the new option within Facebook. And even then, they’ve got to opt into the setting. “People on Facebook who don’t follow you on Instagram can’t see your story,” a screenshot about the feature says.
Matt Navarra confirmed with a Facebook spokesperson that this is a “limited test,” and that the company will be listening to feedback. The spokesperson noted that the feature “respects all existing privacy settings” and said Instagram users have the option to keep their stories off of Facebook altogether if they wish.
The move is yet another step in Facebook’s effort to bring its platforms closer together. Last month, Facebook began merging Facebook Messenger and Instagram chat; WhatsApp will eventually also become part of this unified chat experience.