Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 29 January 2020

Facebook to add its name to WhatsApp and Instagram brands

The social network will rebrand the apps to “Instagram from Facebook” and “WhatsApp from Facebook"

Facebook started adding its name to some screens on its Instagram photo-sharing platform this week. Reuters. 
Facebook started adding its name to some screens on its Instagram photo-sharing platform this week. Reuters. 

Facebook plans to add its name to Whatsapp and Instagram, illustrating its control and ownership over both popular apps.

Facebook will rebrand the apps to “Instagram from Facebook” and “WhatsApp from Facebook,” The Information reported on Friday.

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

The social media giant bought photo-sharing app Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion (Dh3.67bn) and purchased messaging service WhatsApp in 2014 for $16bn, with each now used by more than 1 billion people.

The rebranding move comes as the San Francisco-based tech company faces tougher scrutiny from global regulators on transparency over data privacy practices and how and with whom Facebook shares user information.

The app rebranding marks a shift for Facebook, which until recently had allowed the apps to operate and be branded independently.

Distancing itself from the other brands, has helped both apps avoid being tarnished by the privacy scandals that have hurt Facebook. The US Federal Trade Commission is also investigating Facebook for anti-competitive behavior.

The move to add Facebook’s name to the apps has been met with surprise and confusion internally, reflecting the autonomy that the units have operated under, The Information reported.

Facebook settled an FTC probe into allegations of inappropriately sharing data of 87 million users with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. Facebook will pay a record-breaking $5 billion fine.

The FTC is also examining Facebooks acquisitions as part of its antitrust investigation into the social-media giant, seeking to determine if they were part of a campaign to snap up potential rivals to head off competitive threats, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The world’s largest social network has bought nearly 90 companies since 2003, including Instagram and Whatsapp, according to data provided by S&P Global.

Updated: August 3, 2019 02:30 PM

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