Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg announced recently plans to integrate Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram messaging capacities. This change will allow end to end user messages to be encrypted and enable them to communicate cross-platform between apps. Along with these three platforms, the underlying message infrastructure will continue to operate as independent apps.
The combined users of all three apps are brought together for 2,6 billion–giving Facebook more influence on user communication than ever before. Other competing messaging services such as Apple and Google will probably give Facebook a competing edge with a hyperlink. This advantage could lead to more time spent on Facebook-owned applications, which allow Facebook to recover popularity both from a user and from a publicity point of view after two years of scandal.
As many of us know, in recent years, Facebook has been the center of several controversies. Election interference, exposure of user data and data collection concerns all have damaged the reputation of the company. When integration was announced, many people immediately addressed the first question of safety.
Zuckerberg stated that they are working on adding end-to-end encryption to each of the services, which means that private messages can only be viewed by conversation participants. Enhanced encryption will help Facebook protect user data better, which is likely to help build trust among users who have been concerned about data privacy in the past.
Although the content of the actual message is safeguarded, there are still concerns about how these apps share data. For example, users of Facebook usually include personal data such as their full name, workplace, hometown or relationship status not included in WhatsApp and Instagram profiles.
While it is not clear how much data (or how much) will be shared between platforms, these profiles may now be more publicly linked than once with your Facebook accounts. For anyone who wants to keep the apps separate, this is a major focus.
Facebook is now trying to understand how all of these applications – both alone and connected – support encryption from one end to another and how they communicate.
More marketing opportunities
Although this integration raises user concerns, it could offer marketers more opportunities to reach people across platforms more effectively. Mark Zuckerburg has said that it has no clear plan to monetize integration yet, but Facebook can be expected to build a better ad income from that change.
Facebook currently allows advertisers to display ads on Facebook Messenger, but not WhatsApp or Instagram. It is uncertain whether the integration feature of Messenger ads will continue, but we can expect that it will be implemented on all three platforms if it does.
The addition of this feature to Facebook will be a big win because Instagram and WhatsApp generate almost no more ad income than Facebook. In addition, we see increased engagement with these Messages-specific features with more users choosing the Messaging Platform as their primary communication source.
In this case, marketers can reach users without a Facebook account on Instagram or WhatsApp. Although data sharing between apps is a backlash source, marketers will likely benefit, because it provides a more holistic view of the user based on their behavior, improving ad-targeting capability.
Last but not least, although at the moment we do not have all the answers about the integration functionality or the ad opportunities it offers-Facebook knows that everybody watches. Based on its past controversies, we can assume that Facebook knows that it needs to do so successfully and to regain confidence from its foundation.
This is going to be quite a task on the technical side of the participating teams, but probably a huge payoff. If successful, we can examine the new communications hub that’s favored by users— as at least one profile is created by everyone— and it supports targeted marketers ‘ ads. This has the potential to alter the way messaging ads are effective-marketers should be sure to remain tuned to updates, with a whole range of new best practices.