Fun fact: Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 and Whatsapp in 2014… and it seems like this union is one that we would be reminded of more, very soon.
Until recently, Facebook has allowed both apps to run separately on their own names, but it seems Facebook is tired of being the underground sugar daddy and wants both apps to bear the last name, Facebook. Once the change of name process is completed, Instagram and Whatsapp will now be known as Instagram from Facebook and Whatsapp from Facebook respectively. This change of name will take effect on Google Play and App Store and will most likely be used on screen when the app is launched for use.
According to a statement released by Facebook, it said that the reason for renaming both apps is because they make what products and services are part of Facebook very clear. The name change comes on the heels of the announcement by Facebook early in the year on the step to merge Instagram, Whatsapp, and Messenger by the end of 2019 or early 2020 in order to create the best messaging experience for users.
In explaining the reasons for their actions, Facebook has said that the decision is part of their moves to make their platform more privacy-focused and give users a choice to reach their friends from whichever app they prefer with an additional input of end-to-end encryption. Zuckerberg mentioned that all of their actions, both present and subsequently, are in a bid to keep users hooked into the different Facebook apps rather than seek solace in the competition.
In a series of events that have seen the founders of both Instagram and Whatsapp resign from their companies in the past months, complaints of Zuckerberg’s increased grip on the apps despite the agreement to operate autonomously continue to come up. It is believed that Zuckerberg wants to make Instagram and Whatsapp more like Facebook despite their deep-rooted differences, especially as it borders on privacy.
These deep-rooted differences such as end-to-end encryption, anonymity and the ability to be accessed only by choice is what makes users favor Instagram and Whatsapp over Facebook. In recent times, young people especially teenagers have turned away from the use of Facebook to Instagram and Whatsapp because they consider it more trendy. The fact that Zuckerberg now insists on reminding this same set of users that all along, they were using a product of Facebook is a move that might backfire.
On the other hand, the move to rename some of their popular apps might end up generating more appeal and positive public perception for Facebook. With any luck, Facebook might move from being known as the app that violates users’ privacy and is constantly in data mismanagement scandals to the company that creates trendy and privacy-respected platforms for users.
For a social media giant like Facebook, a name change is never simple and they would most probably have to deal with the mechanics behind the change, its effects on their bottom line and public perception, especially after the results of a recent poll conducted on Twitter showed that 71% of users stated a change of name was absolutely not needed.
Do you think a name change was necessary?