Early this year, Facebook announced that they are going to integrate its messaging services on Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. Facebook said it was going to be a long process and hoped to complete this integration by the end of 2019 or early next year. since the plan was to unify the messaging infrastructure but still let three services — Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger — to run as standalone apps.
We now have progress
Facebook Engineers are now working to rebuild Instagram’s Direct messaging feature using Messenger technology. The standalone app was killed off early this year. This interoperability means that Instagram users will now be able to chat with their friends on Messenger as Facebook builds a massive messaging network for all its apps.
To make things easier in terms of leadership, Instagram’s staff working on direct messaging now report to the Facebook Messenger team.
According to Bloomberg, the Instagram messaging look won’t change but rather the tech powering the messaging service.
Mark Zuckerberg’s move to consolidate all Facebook apps has brought a lot of tension within the social media giant and outside of it too.
Late last year, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger called it quits on Instagram, the giant photo-sharing platform they both co-founded before Facebook bought it in 2012 for $1 billion. They both departed as a result of the continued leadership wrangles among other issues.
In late 2017, WhatsApp co-founder, Brian Acton, informed the world that he was leaving the company. The departure was dramatic as both co-founders cited issues with Facebook over their efforts to monetize the messaging service. We now know that Facebook is planning to bring Status Ads starting next year. Facebook had bought it for $19.3 billion in early 2014. In October, last year he penned a Forbes article talking how it’s like to work under Mark pointing out that Facebook isn’t a good place to sell your startup.
According to Bloomberg, Zuckerberg makes the case that both Instagram and WhatsApp used Facebook’s resources to grow their independent brands and it was time for them to give back to the parent company.
Critics argue that Facebook consolidating all its apps will make them not thrive as in the past since they were not directly associated with Facebook. To make things worse, Facebook recently announced that it wants to add its name to Instagram and WhatsApp. The apps will be rebranded to Instagram from Facebook and WhatsApp from Facebook.
People not knowing Instagram is owned by Facebook is the best thing going for Instagram https://t.co/gy6JcWnRCi
— nilay patel (@reckless) August 2, 2019
This move is going to hurt its apps with the toxic Facebook brand especially now that the social media giant has come under intense scrutiny.
2012-2018: “distancing popular acquisitions from our challenged brand makes sense”
— rat king (@MikeIsaac) August 2, 2019
Details about how this will work are still unknown as most users haven’t linked their Instagram accounts with their Facebook accounts.
"hmmm regulators won't stop talking about breaking us up, what should we do?"
"let's try making it more obvious that we have a stranglehold on a bunch of hugely popular apps"https://t.co/0iV3tIP4ma
— kate conger (@kateconger) August 2, 2019
This recent revelation hints at another revenue source for Facebook
Missing from this commentary is @Messenger's platform support for bots and automation. Certainly from a commerce and monetization perspective, IG offers a second shot for Facebook to push that developer narrative/opportunity.#ConvComm https://t.co/utwkOnU7D7
— Chris Messina 🏴☠️ (@chrismessina) August 7, 2019
Is Instagram still independent? Kinda
but really, there's still quite a bit left to watch. They still have separate product development like IGTV, separate senior leadership, separate marketing, separate revenue channels like shopping, and obviously a completely separate association in the minds of consumers
— Sarah Frier (@sarahfrier) August 8, 2019
Worth noting, Facebook will bring encryption to all its chat apps with this new integration. Instagram and Messenger will join WhatsApp which is the only app that offers full encryption.