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Facebook Branding Coming To Instagram, WhatsApp

Facebook will rebrand its popular WhatsApp and Instagram apps to reflect the social media platform’s ownership in a move that could hurt the two apps’ reputation.

The Information reports “three people familiar with the matter” have confirmed the apps will rebrand to “WhatsApp from Facebook” and “Instagram from Facebook”.

Employees at WhatsApp and Instagram were reportedly surprised and confused about the change, as the two have previously operated relatively autonomously.

The lack of Facebook branding has also allowed the apps to avoid some of the backlash against their parent company over recent privacy scandals and government scrutiny, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s recently released Digital Platforms Inquiry report.

The company paid US$1 billion for Instagram in 2012 and US$19 billion for WhatsApp in 2014.

Those acquisitions have recently been drawing attention from US regulators who are concerned Facebook stymied competition by taking over the apps.

Facebook spokeswoman Bertie Thomson told the Wall Street Journal the move was to make the company “clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook”.

WhatsApp’s encrypted messaging is a big draw for many of its 1.5 billion users, but explicit association with Facebook coupled with recent reports the company would begin using AI to flag messages and sending them to human content moderators prior to encrypting and sending could put many off.

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