Facebook execs today unveiled plans to integrate the messaging element of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram in a move set to bolster the group’s dominance of social media.
This will mean that Facebook users for example, will be able to message a WhatsApp user making the ecosystem the social media giant is creating even more seamless.
Merging communication between the apps is set to occur by the end of this year or early 2020 and will pit the reach of the combined messaging services against rivals from Snapchat to Apple’s iMessage to SMS to various Google messaging apps.
Facebook acquired the photo-sharing platform Instagram for approximately $1 billion (£761 million) in 2012, followed by the messaging service WhatsApp in 2014 for an estimated $19.3 billion (£14.7bn).
Instagram first and now Facebook have integrated Stories systems of disseminating posts, using one of the defining characteristics of Snapchat.
All this cements the Facebook group’s dominance of global social media users and social media marketing spend.
This new move will further extend the monetisation of Instagram and WhatsApp, which bring in a fraction of the advertising and marketing revenue of Facebook, despite Instagram’s 1 billion monthly active users and WhatsApp’s 1.5 billion.
With 91% of social media users using mobile devices to access their accounts, the move cements the Facebook group’s dominance of social media ad spend.
Over 88% of brands are now marketing on social media, the vast majority still on Facebook – one of the fastest growing ad networks. In fact, the number of advertisers using Facebook has more than doubled in the last 18 months.
Instagram, the world’s second biggest social media now has over 25 million business profiles. Female internet users are more likely to use Instagram than men and 78% of teens between the ages of 15 and 17 use Instagram, as well as 63% of 13 to 14-year-olds.