In a peculiar move, Facebook plans to rebrand Instagram and WhatsApp to “Instagram from Facebook” and “WhatsApp from Facebook,” The Information reports.
The app rebranding is a major departure for Facebook which until now had wholly left both apps to operate independently operationally and as autonomous brands. Separating the apps from the mother brand has also helped the apps remain unscathed as the Facebook brand became embroiled in multiple privacy scandals.
It is reported that the move to rebrand the popular apps has been met with surprise and confusion amongst Facebook employees.
Apparently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been frustrated that Facebook does not get sufficient credit for the growth of Instagram and WhatsApp. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 for USD1 billion, while it bought WhatsApp for a whopping USD22 billion in 2014, the company’s biggest purchase ever.
Mark has the opinion that associating Instagram and WhatsApp with Facebook could “improve the overall companies’ brand with consumers.”
The “from Facebook” branding will be visible inside the two apps. You will see it when you log on, and also in places like app stores.
Unified branding aside, Facebook has taken steps to unify the messaging systems between the Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp apps. The company hopes that letting users message across its apps will open up more opportunities for e-commerce and keep its users loyal to its messaging ecosystem.
The Information also previously reported that internal Facebook research has shown that WhatsApp and Messenger compete for user attention, while Facebook users are increasingly sharing to Instagram and WhatsApp.
Instagram, now with over 1 billion users, was growing the fastest globally, while overall engagement for Facebook was flat in 2018, after dipping in the year prior.
What’s interesting is that two 2018 surveys conducted by search engine DuckDuckGo found that more than half of Americans didn’t know Facebook owned Instagram and WhatsApp.
So, Mark may be on to something here.
What do you think of the name change?