There was big news last week when gossip started spreading that Whatsapp, Facebook, and Instagram messaging systems merging. News agencies picked up the story because the title sounded so catchy, but what does it actually mean?
Will Instagram Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger stay the same?
These apps will stay the same in a lot of ways, this merger is more of a code consolidation rather than an app merger. The Independent phrased it like this…
“The merger is intended to create “the best messaging experiences” for the billions of users around the world who use the Facebook-owned apps.”
This means that though the apps will stay separate and similar, the infrastructure will be merged. Yes, this will change the way that all these employees work together. Also, yes, this might mean a lot of upcoming changes for chatbots, advertisers, Facebook Send-to-Messenger ads and anyone working within these platforms. That being said, these changes won’t happen before 2020 and are likely to open up more channels.
What will happen with encryption?
Don’t forget, Whatsapp is not the only messenger with end-to-end encryption. Facebook Messenger is also encrypted. The difference currently is that this information in Facebook Messenger open to government organizations where government organizations have a hard time getting Whatsapp information. The idea that Facebook Messenger and Instagram will have end-to-end closed encryption is unlikely, due to government interests. Alternatively, there is a possibility that Whatsapp will no longer have the same encryption level. We’ll be keeping an eye out for announcements about this.
Is this a result of the Instagram founders leaving?
The Instagram founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, leaving the company caused quite the media upset. There was a lot of rumors that clashes with Facebook (most likely Mark Zuckerberg) over this topic was a key position that Instagram founders were against.
Why would Facebook do this?
The general consensus on Facebook motivations in this code merger is to create a foundation for Facebook’s authority and consolidate their tech prowess, but there are other things to consider. Merging these apps helps Facebook secure the under 30 crowd, which is more active on Instagram than the Facebook platform. It also helps Facebook clean it’s brand name a bit which has not had a great run in 2018. Lastly, some sources are claiming that Facebook is most likely seeing a possibility of regulation coming from European states and the USA. If they merge in this way, they are harder to break down with regulations.
What problems will it solve for Facebook?
For Facebook, merging the infrastructure of these apps will help unify their codebase, meaning it’ll be easier to make changes and work across platforms. For advertisers, this could mean cross-platform advertisements, Messenger Marketing campaigns, and more. There will definitely be changes here, but they are most likely going to be low-level.
The biggest problem this merger will address for Facebook is the company’s dominance issue. As the Facebook platform evolves, acquiring Instagram and Whatsapp made a lot of sense. Merging the infrastructure of these platforms will solidify Facebook’s role in these companies.
So what does it mean for chatbot developers and users?
There isn’t a lot of information out there about this topic particularly, but there is a good chance that the changes will be on the developer side of apps. One interesting possibility that could arise from this is the ability to use chatbots on more platforms at reasonable costs. Right now, E-commerce stores can send messages to customers on Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp but with different price points. Whatsapp messaging is priced per message, where Facebook Messenger is open to anyone using a chatbot software. After this merger, we might see a change in these prices, hopefully, a one-price-fits-all solution. Additionally, there is definitely the possibility of Instagram messenger being part of chatbot in the future.
Unfortunately, that’s all the information we have so far. To be honest, we see little changes for chatbot users and providers in the next year. We’re keeping an eye out for any new opportunities that this merger might provide for advertisers. Subscribe to keep updated!
Having started chatbot marketing? Check out this article for the 5 signs that show you’re ready to start messaging your customers directly.