Facebook could soon offer users an option to post the same Story to three networks that are all owned by the tech giant. Instagram recently confirmed the testing of a tool to cross-post Stories as a WhatsApp status. With the option to already share Instagram Stories to Facebook in place, the tool could help Instagram users post on three platforms without having to manually uploading content on each one.
After users in Brazil spotted the new option, Instagram confirmed to Tech Crunch that the feature is currently in testing. Like the option to post an Instagram Story to Facebook Stories, the tested tool would allow Stories to also post to WhatsApp, where they would live as a status. WhatsApp statuses have several features in common with Stories, including the fact that they disappear after 24 hours. The text and stickers applied to the Story in Instagram also appear to be part of the cross-posting, included in both.
According to the tests, the feature places the same Story in WhatsApp, though users would still have to open the messaging app and confirm the post. WhatsApp is partially known for its encryption and, in the testing, the cross-posting appears to still leave that feature intact on the resulting status. Like content posted natively to the status in WhatsApp directly, users can also choose who sees that status. Privacy settings default to contacts only, but users can also log in and choose to exclude specific contacts or to create a list of contacts allowed to see the post.
WhatsApp shares code in order to allow other apps and websites to integrate the popular messaging platform. While both Instagram and WhatsApp are Facebook-owned, that accessible code shortcut is what’s currently making the cross-posting possible for users who are included in the test.
Like all tests, the fact that the feature exists for a handful of users doesn’t mean that it will become globally available inside the Instagram app — just that Instagram is serious enough about the possibility to test it.
Instagram users can already cross-post both images shared on the feed and Stories to Facebook. Adding WhatsApp’s Story-like statuses in the mix would be another outlet for Instagram users to share their Stories.
Originally created by Snapchat, the Stories format, which turns photos, GIFs, videos decorated with stickers into a video reel of your day, has been widely imitated, now inside Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and even apps like Skype. In data released in July, WhatsApp claimed a billion daily active users, a quarter or whom use the status feature daily.