WhatsApp And Instagram Forced To Change Their Names

Facebook is changing the names of two of its most popular apps: WhatsApp and Instagram.

The apps will soon be renamed to WhatsApp from Facebook and Instagram from Facebook – the first ever name change for both apps.

It's a clear sign that Facebook is trying to take greater control of the social apps.
Facebook bought Instagram back in 2012, and followed up with a purchase of WhatsApp in 2014.

But the move is proving controversial, with The Information noting that it was "met with surprise and confusion internally".

The teams behind Instagram and WhatsApp have typically operated separately from Facebook – but billionaire boss Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly trying to put his stamp on both apps.
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The "from Facebook" text will show up on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

And it will also appear inside the app.

However, the text underneath the apps on your home screen won't change, because it would take up too much space.

In a statement, Facebook said: "We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook."

The changes are being made now, but you might not see them immediately.

This isn't the only way Facebook is tightening its grip on WhatsApp and Instagram.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Facebook would be merging the messaging part of its Messenger app with both WhatsApp and Instagram.

The project is believed to involve "thousands of Facebook employees" working to merge the apps together.

Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, will still exist as standalone apps however – but their messaging services will become one unified system.

In October 2015, Instagram confirmed that more than 40billion photos had been uploaded to the app
And in 2018, Instagram revealed that more than a billion people were using the app every month
Work on the project is already underway to combine the "messaging infrastructure" of the apps.

It means that all three apps will support end-to-end encryption, which Instagram currently lacks.

According to the NYT, the idea is being masterminded by billionaire Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg.

It's a bid to keep users hooked into the Facebook ecosystem – and avoid turning to rival offerings "from Apple and Google".

Zuckerberg has reportedly been "floating" the idea for months, but has been met with heavy opposition.

Instagram's founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger abandoned the company late last year, reportedly due to Zuckerberg's increased grip on the app.

And WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton also left for similar reasons.

Zuck is said to have "clashed with dozens of WhatsApp employees" over the merger during a staff meeting in December.

Part of the problem is that Facebook requires you to provide your real identity, while WhatsApp is often favoured for its anonymity.

Merging the messaging services could create a privacy headache.

Users may also be put off by the prospect of messages from long-forgotten Facebook friends turning up on WhatsApp, for instance.

"As you would expect, there is a lot of discussion and debate as we begin the long process of figuring out all the details of how this will work," a Facebook spokesperson told The Sun.

According to reports, Zuckerberg still isn't sure how to make money from the merger.

Speaking to The Sun, industry expert Michael Pachter, of Wedbush Securities, said: "It’s an interesting issue, since users aren’t really asking for integration, but Facebook recognizes that by integrating the products, they facilitate greater communication/interaction among their user base.

"I personally think it’s a great idea, but am not sure there is any immediate impact on revenues or profits.

"The integration is likely going to roll out in a year or so, and we will have to see how smoothly it goes before understanding the potential for monetization."

In a statement given to The Sun, a Facebook spokesperson said the company hoped to "build the best messaging experiences we can – and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private".

"We're working on making more of our messaging products end-to-end encrypted and considering ways to make it easier to reach friends and family across networks."

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