Earlier this month, Facebook confirmed that it would be rebranding WhatsApp to “WhatsApp from Facebook”. Now the Mark Zuckerberg led company has introduced a feature that allows users to easily share Facebook posts on the world’s most popular messaging app. This is in line with his plans to fuse WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram into a single platform by 2020, thereby allowing users to chat without hopping in and out of apps.
Facebook has rolled out an update to Android where a prominent ‘Send in WhatsApp’ button now appears on posts for all users who have a “public” privacy setting in news feed and have already installed WhatsApp on their smartphones. Facebook uses the Android PackageManager API, which is available in all apps on Android devices, to check whether or not WhatsApp is installed on the device. The company confirmed to Digit.in that there would be no data-sharing between Facebook and WhatsApp as a part of this feature.
While a similar feature was already in place – previously users could share posts to their WhatsApp contacts by heading to ‘more options’ – the recent update makes things more seamless, allowing one to share the post with a single tap. “We’re making it easier for people to share posts they want to have conversations about with their WhatsApp contacts,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the ‘Send in WhatsApp’ was made more prominent due to “the interest in sharing information” on the messaging app.
In June, WhatsApp started testing a new feature that will allow its users to share their status posts to Facebook, Instagram and other services. WhatsApp status is similar to the Facebook stories and the new feature will allow users to seamlessly share their status over to Facebook, Instagram, Gmail and Google Photos. The feature, if launched, will be yet another step towards Facebook unifying all its apps under one umbrella.
Zuckerberg wants to heal Facebook revenues with WhatsApp and Instagram. The two have done well in the recent past with a steady increase in the user base, whereas Facebook has lost an estimated 15 million users in the US alone since 2017, according to a report from Edison Research. However, his integration plans not only have serious implications where privacy is concerned but is also a contradiction to his earlier statements promising that the sister apps would remain independent.