Facebook Messenger for iOS adds Instagram photo sharing

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is rolling out an updated version of its over-the-top Messenger application for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, adding support for Instagram photo sharing.

Instagram's app update introduces a number of new features.

With Facebook Messenger for iOS version 2.6, users can tap the paper clip icon in any message to add images from Instagram or any other photo stored on their iPhone Camera Roll. Messenger for Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android added Instagram sharing earlier this year.

Facebook launched Messenger in mid-2011 in an effort to steer users away from conventional operator SMS solutions. In addition to text messaging, the app also supports features like free VoIP calling, voice messaging and group interactions. Instagram enables users to snap, filter and manipulate photos and then upload their work to social media sites. Facebook acquired Instagram for $715 million last year and recently announced that the app boasts 130 million monthly users who have shared 16 billion photos.

Integrating Instagram support should help Facebook Messenger more effectively compete with rival OTT messaging apps. Earlier this week, cross-platform app WhatsApp Messenger revealed that its 300 million active users share 325 million photos each day. Snapchat--which enables users to capture photos (a.k.a. "snaps"), overlay a text message and transmit the image to friends--touts 200 million private photo messages each day, up from 60 million in February.

In related news, Instagram updated its standalone iOS and Android apps, highlighted by video import functionality. Users can now import footage from their library, edit the clip and share it with the Instagram network regardless of when the video was captured. Instagram for iOS is also adding automatic photo straightening, while Instagram for Android is now available to devices running Android 4.0, a.k.a. Ice Cream Sandwich.

For more:
- read this TechCrunch article
- read this Instagram Blog post

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