In a recent controversial move, Facebook subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram are getting changes to their names as part of a Facebook rebrand. This is ostensibly to make it much clearer that the companies and their apps are indeed owned by Facebook, although both companies have historically had very different personalities and corporate cultures.
Platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram have become ubiquitous in our daily lives. They’ve become the way we connect with friends, capture happy moments with loved ones, and more often than not, an integral part of our businesses too.
Changes to these platforms can affect the way we engage or go about conducting business so it is important to be aware of changes planned for these platforms, so we can be anticipative and prepared for what those changes may entail.
Ads and Cyptocurrency Among the Changes
Included in the Facebook rebrand is that WhatsApp specifically becomes “WhatsApp from Facebook”. It’s a change that comes amidst other planned updates to the platform that promises to improve user experience. Among the changes we can expect to see coming that will impact users the most are the following:
1. Adverts and Business Catalogues – there have been rumours that ads would be introduced to WhatsApp for a while and it’s now been confirmed that they can be expected to start from 2020. These ads will be displayed in the Status section of the app and will be used to monetise the platform and increase the amount of money Facebook can make from one of the world’s most well-known messaging platforms.
2. Cryptocurrency – Facebook has recently announced the launch of its very own cryptocurrency wallet Calibra, which will be accessible via WhatsApp and in Facebook Messenger, as well as in a standalone app, by 2020.
3. Multi-device support – Facebook is working on a system that will allow a user to access the same WhatsApp account across multiple devices at the same time, making it easier to integrate the platform into your business and living.
4. Edit Media – You’ll soon have the ability to edit media that has been sent to you and save it as a new file on your device.
5. Voice Commands – It will soon be possible to read or reply to WhatsApp messages using Voice Commands like Google Assistant. This move is in line with recent trends towards using smart assistants to consume content as well as to perform common digital tasks.
Changes Part of Facebook Rebrand
But what has brought about these changes to these platforms? Are they indicative of a deeper shift in terms of the direction Facebook is headed?
The move by the social media behemoth comes as part of a broader Facebook rebrand, where the aim is to link the identity and branding of all three apps more closely together under the Facebook banner, in conjunction with the integration of the underlying architecture that supports each platform as well.
Some regulatory bodies are conducting investigations into whether Facebook has developed monopoly powers, in other words, whether the company has sought to aggressively remove competitive threats and seek dominance in the industry.
According to Facebook, more closely knitting these platforms together is more a move towards creating a more ‘privacy-focused’ platform and ostensibly giving users more choice and freedom as to how they would like to interact between each of Facebook’s platforms.
This is great news for users and we look forward to experiencing these exciting changes for ourselves in the near future!
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