Big changes coming to WhatsApp – including adverts and a name change

WhatsApp will get a name change alongside Instagram to make it clear that the companies are owned by Facebook.

The rebranded apps will now be called “Instagram from Facebook” and “WhatsApp from Facebook.”

Bloomberg reports that the move is controversial because both of the apps were born outside of Facebook, have very different corporate cultures and have thrived, in part, by having their own identities with consumers.

Founders of the photo-sharing app and the messaging service left Facebook in 2018.

“We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook,” a spokeswoman for the company said.

The name change is just one of a number of changes that the popular messaging app is looking to introduce. Some of the other major changes are outlined below.

Adverts

Facebook will begin publishing adverts on WhatsApp’s status page starting in 2020, according to a tweet by an attendee of a Facebook Marketing Summit.

“WhatsApp will bring Stories Ads in its status product in 2020,” the tweet said, showing the presentation which confirmed the launch date.

WhatsApp vice president Chris Daniels told journalists in October 2018 that adverts within the Status feature would be the “primary monetisation mode for the company”.

This latest development means that previous reports suggesting that adverts could come to WhatsApp as soon as 2019 appear to be incorrect.

WhatsApp will join fellow Facebook-owned social media platform Instagram in running adverts through its Status feature.

Facebook also recently announced that it would be implementing business catalogues within WhatsApp.

“With catalogues, businesses can showcase their goods so people can easily discover them,” said Facebook.

Voice commands

On Friday (2 July) Android Police reported that Android phone users can now read and reply to messages from WhatsApp through Google voice commands.

To try this, start by saying “read my messages” to Assistant.

If you hadn’t already, you’ll have to grant the Google app notification access for this to work.

BusinessTech confirmed that the feature appears to be working on Android phones on the most recent WhatsApp update.

Statuses 

WaBetaInfo reports that WhatsApp is currently working to implement a new feature which will allow users to share their status updates to Facebook.

Once this feature is added, users who have Facebook installed on their smartphone and post a status update on WhatsApp will be presented with an “Add to Facebook Story” option.

Selecting this option will redirect you to Facebook to share your story on the social media platform. This feature will not automatically share any statuses, requiring manual authorisation from the user.


Read: 3 things South Africans should stop posting in their neighbourhood WhatsApp group


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