Facebook’s next feature could be Instagram notifications

Facebook thinks you could use some more reminders of what's going on in other apps.

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Facebook and Instagram might exist as individual services, but under the surface their ties run deep. Instagram users often test major new features before they're eventually ported across to the News Feed and it only takes a push of a button to share photos and videos with a wider selection of friends and family.

Just as the Facebook and Messenger apps have grown closer, Instagram may also be integrated even deeper into the platform. TechCrunch reports that the social network is trialling a new feature that displays notification counters from the major Facebook-owned apps and allows users to quickly switch between them.

The feature itself is an extension of the Messenger notification that sits in the top-right corner of the Facebook app. Instead of just alerting users to instant messages, the trial displays a pop-up menu that displays all of the unread notifications across Facebook, Messenger and Instagram, not-so-subtly reminding them to see what they've missed.

Facebook Instagram

"We are conducting a very small test to make it easier for people to discover and connect with the people and things they care about," a Facebook spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch. "We're exploring ways to help people switch more easily between their Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram accounts."

For Facebook, the idea is simple: remind people of the things they're missing and they'll spend more time in the apps. That means more engagement and more eyeballs for advertisers. For users, it's another potential case of notification anxiety.