In a rather quiet by emphatic way, Facebook has added its branding to WhatsApp and Instagram. With this Facebook now controls the most popular messaging app in the world and the second most popular photo and video sharing app. There are no plans in the near future to change the names of these acquired apps. But we shall surely see the evolution of WhatsApp as a universal messenger with payment and business features integrated for all three.
History and features of WhatsApp
WhatsApp was launched as a messenger by former employees of Yahoo! in 2009. Within a few months it was released to public with statues and messaging service. The number of users shot to 250,000 within no time. It was primarily designed for iPhone and was initially launched as a paid service. By 2013, it had 400 million active users and became extremely popular in India.
In 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for a whopping US$19 billion. Facebook did face a backlash from the online community with many users switching to alternate apps like Line and Telegram. Facebook kept on adding new features like voice call, video call, etc. It was always the question of all that how will WhatsApp earn money. This point was taken care of in 2018 with the launch of WhatsApp for Business. WhatsApp has now replaced technologies like Email, contact options on website, Skype and has come up as quick and fast unified messaging and communications app.
Who is not familiar with Instagram. It is simple, it is popular and it has some kick ass security features which make users feel safe while surfing online. Instagram was launched in 2010. Like WhatsApp, the basic identity and purpose of Instagram has not changed over the years. It remains a photo and video sharing social media networking app and it sits comfortably on number two position after Facebook. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012.
Due to its immense popularity, Facebook makes constant changes to the way Instagram is being used by people. Removal of the Following Tab and removal of likes count on posts are few of the major changes. Using AI and related tech, Instagram warns users of negative comments and harassment in comments. On lines of changes in Facebook, stories now dominate the limited real estate space on mobile screens.
Future of trinity
It is as if Facebook predicted a saturation of users on its networking platform. With Instagram under its belt, Facebook is kinda safe for now. With these acquisitions, Facebook now controls the largest messaging and networking app on earth. How the future unfolds, only time will tell.