Instagram’s latest test is … telling people about the Facebook app

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Instagram is running a new test to tell users another app they might want to check out: Facebook. The photo sharing app is experimenting with notifications at the top of user feeds that encourage them to check out features that are “available” only on Facebook.

“We are testing a way to inform people who have linked their Instagram accounts to Facebook about features that are only available there, such as how to find a job, go online, buy or sell merchandise, or find out the latest news,” a spokesman said in a statement.

The company appears to be using one of its billion user apps to promote another billion user apps, but this may be the latest (and perhaps most aggressive) way the social network uses Instagram to get people back to its main app. The company is constantly bringing in two apps and encourages users to link their accounts. (A book published last year reported that Mark Zuckerberg Instagram succeeds and worries that the app could eventually “cannibalize” Facebook. Tensions between him and the founder of the app eventually led to their departure in 2018.)

Facebook points out that only a “very small group” of Instagram users who have previously decided to link their accounts will see messages that can be discarded. But even if it never expands, it suggests the company is not yet done with its attempts to get Instagram users to spend more time on Facebook.

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