The two services will be renamed “Instagram from Facebook” and “WhatsApp from Facebook”.
These new titles are to appear on Facebook’s internal branding, and also in the title for both apps on Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play store.
On a device’s home screen, the app titles will stay the same for now, but it’s likely that the new name will appear when you open it. Although the renaming will not affect how either app operates.
“We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook,” Bertie Thomson, a Facebook spokeswoman stated.
Nevertheless, Facebook has not yet said when the name change will take effect.
Earlier this year, a New York Times report said Facebook wants to integrate the messaging services of WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger in order to keep up engagement within Facebook’s network of users. As part of these new changes, staff working on Instagram’s messaging feature Direct, will now report to the team behind Facebook’s separate Messenger app.
But right now the move is part of a broader change towards linking the three apps together and bringing them under the Facebook banner, according to The Information, which first reported the change.
However, the move is proving controversial, with The Information noting that it was “met with surprise and confusion internally”.
The new name will make clear to anyone using them that the apps are linked, which is clearly a good thing for them but Zuckerberg is reportedly annoyed that Facebook doesn’t get credit for the growth of Instagram and WhatsApp.
According to a survey carried out by web browser DuckDuckGo last year, 56 percent of Americans didn’t know Facebook owns Instagram, and 45 percent didn’t know that Google owns YouTube; which it has done since 2006 if you were also clueless on this.
Considering how much time we spend on social media, an average of 136 minutes per day globally, this being over two hours, it is worrying that people aren’t aware of who owns the platforms they are regularly using to share information about themselves.
Although we must point out that this name change is a clear sign that Facebook is trying to take greater control of these social apps and billionaire boss Mark Zuckerberg is also trying to put his stamp on both apps.
After Facebook bought Instagram back in 2012 for $1 billion and followed up with a purchase of WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion, it has largely left the apps to run separately and on their own. This perhaps helped them sidestep the recent privacy scandals that affected Facebook.
If you need some light shed on what the Facebook privacy scandals were, check out The Great Hack trailer below.