The word is out that plans to merge messaging services on WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger is in the works. Currently, all three platforms stand alone as separate competing apps all under Facebook. So, what does this merge mean for users, and will there be any business impact?
WhatsApp launched back in 2009 and was the first app that used the internet to send voice and text messages. It’s basically the Skype of free messaging and is used by over 180 countries to this day. I use it when I’m travelling overseas and catching up with family from Canada and the Middle East. It’s convenient because anyone can download it, you are searchable by your phone number, and there’s no need to make a username when you download the app.
Facebook bought out Instagram in 2012 and, although they remain standalone apps that work independently, you can run ads on Instagram through Facebook Ads Messenger, link your Instagram business account to your Facebook page, and cross-post your Instagram pictures to Facebook.
Why would Mark Zuckerberg want to merge the messaging services of three successful apps into one?
What This Means for Business Owners
Facebook wants to make it easier. After this change is made, you won’t need to have all three apps downloaded to message users on each platform. For example, you would be able to message someone on WhatsApp from Facebook Messenger, and so on. Cross-platform messaging could make it easier for businesses to reach consumers on other platforms while broadening their target audience as a whole.
What This Means for Users (That’s Us!)
Although it’s been shared that the integration plan is still in the beginning stages, users have already brought up privacy concerns when it comes to merging data. Facebook did announce their plan is to make messaging fast, simple, reliable, and private. Users will be able to chat with people across networks from a single platform. But if you favor using one app over another, this change might not make a difference in your everyday app use.
What to Look Out For
Mark Zuckerberg believes this future change is the direction things should be going in the future. New innovations and technology are continuously changing the way we operate our marketing plan, and this cross-platform merge will just be another innovation we’ll adapt to as users and business owners.