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Facebook and Instagram have begun testing a feature that allows you to more easily bring your Instagram contacts into Messenger. The experience, which is entirely opt-in for the app’s users, is the latest in a series of integrations between Instagram and Facebook’s properties, which has earlier included the cross-posting of Instagram Stories to Facebook as well as the ability to launch the Instagram app directly from Facebook. 

This time around, the two apps are making it simpler to sync your Instagram and Messenger accounts with one another.

In Messenger, you can now visit the People tab and tap on the new option “Connect to Instagram” to add your Instagram contacts to the list of friends you can reach with Facebook’s instant messaging application. You can also add your Instagram contacts from the Messenger sign-up flow, if you’re a new user.

Only your mutual follow contacts on Instagram will be imported, so there’s no concern that Instagram followers will now be able to spam you on Messenger, even if you don’t follow them back.

The option makes sense given that Instagram Messaging today is a heavily used feature – 375 million users were on Instagram Direct as of this April, for example. Presumably, these are Instagram friends you might want to chat with when on Messenger, too.

The integration is yet another example of how Facebook is leveraging its multiple mobile properties smartly to keep users in its ecosystem, and building out an even larger social network as a result. After all, not all Instagram users are Messenger users or Facebook users.

Plus, when the company combines its social graphs like this it’s able to better connect the dots when there’s overlap (potentially meaning more social data for advertisers in the long run).

Facebook and Instagram aren’t formally announcing the launch of this feature, but we understand it’s something the company has recently begun testing.

[h/t Jose Gutierrez]

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