Facebook to merge Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram —Here is how it will affect you

13-Feb-2019 04:17 PM Latest Trends

Social networking giant Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014, making their founders billionaires. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, had promised to keep three platforms separate. However, this promise has not lasted. It looks like the lines are about to get blurred between the three apps. Here is why this unprecedented move will affect your social media game.

Currently, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram operate as separate messaging platforms. But Facebook intends to unify the underlying infrastructure and bring three of the world’s biggest social media platforms, with over 2.6 billion users, under one umbrella.

This project, expected to be completed by 2020, is being closely monitored by everybody — from tech companies to privacy watchdogs and media companies to users.

How does it affect you

By integrating the three most popular social media platforms together, Facebook intends to increase its user engagement while adding to its base. The company plans to keep its numbers growing while reducing user’s appetite for rival messaging ecosystems. As of now, users can sign up for WhatsApp with a phone number. On Facebook and Instagram, users have to enter their personal information.

Integrating all three platforms will mean a WhatsApp user can now message a user on Facebook Messenger or Instagram and vice versa. Integration will also allow information-sharing between the apps. CEO Zuckerberg has supposedly said that all the apps will have an end-to-end encryption similar to the one on WhatsApp which may assuage privacy concerns.

Monetizing Social Media

The integrated platform will provide more advertising opportunities, which means easy monetizing opportunities for Facebook. Currently, among the three platforms, there is no advertising on WhatsApp. However that may change soon. Facebook intends to create a messaging monopoly across all the three social media platforms.

Other business avenues such as Facebook Marketplace can leverage this integration to sell or buy items by directly contacting clients through WhatsApp. WhatsApp has a peer-to-peer payment platform and this facility could be offered on Facebook Messenger enabling cross-platform payments.

Given the huge user base for WhatsApp, this could lead to a surge in revenue for Facebook.

Leveraging this ecosystem

  • Manage all social media accounts in one place
There are several tools and platforms that help you manage your social media accounts and schedule posts. With the integration of the three major social media platforms, marketers will have an easier time to manage the different social media accounts.
  • Solve customer queries
Marketers can handle customer queries on three platforms simultaneously. They  do not need to log into each platforms separately or toggle between the different platforms. Users can also cross-post and marketers can answer questions to questions on WhatsApp from Messenger.
  • Get insights easily
Integration will enable marketers to get consolidated insights into customer behavior at one place. Although this is not confirmed, this may be a very probable feature which could change the way marketers approach their marketing campaigns.
  • Use WhatsApp advertising
Though WhatsApp remained ad-free all these years, the platform presents a huge opportunity for advertisers. It is not surprising that WhatsApp will take the advertising route and follow most platforms of the Facebook ecosystem. Here is how advertising on WhatsApp could be a distinct reality in the future.

Most companies usually run their subsidiaries as separate entities. In the case of technology solutions, it makes sense to consolidate into one single seamless platform for better user engagement. Facebook’s ambitious integration plan to create a messaging monopoly has received criticism from several quarters.

The other main concern is that of security and privacy. This integration could allow a  back door for law enforcement and intelligence gathering organizations to spy on users.

Whether for good or bad, most companies believe in consolidating assets and Facebook is just another in the long line of corporates to do just that. While this move may be welcomed by industry insiders and users alike, it makes sense to be cautious while signing up for these services and part with your precious personal information.