Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp & Instagram Merge

What you need to know

Picture of Carla Doherty

Carla Doherty

The separation between Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram is about to get even blurrier.

Speaking during the company's quarterly earnings call, Zuckerberg confirmed that Facebook wants to make it easier to send messages across its apps, but cautioned that it would be a "a 2020 thing or beyond." 

"We're really early in thinking through this. There's a lot more we need to figure out before we finalize the plan," Zuckerberg said.

So…what does this mean?

In a nutshell it means that the three will become one, and those who only use WhatsApp and not messenger (or vice versa), will have access to all three. According to an article by Independent, the merge is Mark Zuckerberg’s attempt to stop people using rivals, like iMessage. How will this affect brands? Facebook has responded to concerns with the promise that there will be no advertising within WhatsApp, however consumers fear this will not be the case.

Cross-platform messaging may also lead the way for businesses on one platform to message potential customers on another and it might make it easier for Facebook to share data across the three platforms, to help its targeted advertising efforts.

The merge from a retail/ecommerce perspective:

Instagram currently influences nearly 75% of their user purchase decisions! In Southeast Asia messaging services like WeChat account for 30% of all digital sales. The trend is expected to hit Europe and America in a big way this year. We’re seeing this already, with Shopify officially launching Instagram integration back in the autumn. With Instagram approaching one billion monthly active users, and Shopify powering more than 500,000 businesses, the potential is huge. And that’s just one social network.

Plans for Integrated messaging according to Facebook:

Messaging is increasingly important across our family of apps, so we're exploring how to put it more at the heart of all of our products. We want to build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private. We've found that every time we make our services faster and simpler, people communicate more. And we know one of the main reasons people prefer our services - especially WhatsApp - is because of its stronger record on privacy. We're working on making more of our messaging products more private and secure, and are considering ways to make it easier to reach people across networks. We're still in the early stages of exploration, and 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.

Want to find out more? Get in touch with our digital team.

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