It seems like Facebook now wants to show to the world who is the real boss behind Instagram and WhatsApp. According to a report from The Information (paywalled), Facebook is planning to rename WhatsApp and Instagram to 'WhatsApp from Facebook' and 'Instagram from Facebook,' respectively. Facebook later confirmed the report. This is not something entirely new as Facebook has already followed a similar approach with its Workplace app in the past.
The changes will be visible on Instagram and WhatsApp listings on both Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store. But for now, their names will remain the same on your device. Facebook is expected to implement these changes to WhatsApp and Instagram pretty soon. Meanwhile, Oculus branding already has 'from Facebook' mention.
“We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook,” Facebook spokesperson told The Information.
This could very well be a part of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's privacy vision and plans to merge WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook in the future. But so far, WhatsApp and Instagram's independent identity has worked in Facebook's favour, especially since many youngsters have fled Facebook in favour of other youth-centric platforms like TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram.
As part of his privacy vision, Zuckerberg plans to connect Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram with end-to-end encrypted messaging system between them.
The planned integration between these apps would allow users of WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, to chat with one other. However, it's easier said than done.
Facebook will have to undergo a massive reform to its underlying infrastructure for seamless cross-platform interactions. Facebook will also have to carry out end-to-end encryption to Instagram Direct and Messenger. WhatsApp is already supported by end-to-end encryption system. What it means is that only the recipient can read your chats.
In related news, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reportedly examining whether Facebook's acquisitions including Instagram and WhatsApp were made to curb the competition with rival companies. The FTC recently imposed record $5 billion fine against Facebook stemming from its investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal.