FACEBOOK has begun blurring the lines between the social media platform and its WhatsApp messaging service by pulling in this controversial new feature.
Facebook has added a new feature to the social media platform that now allows users to share information across to WhatsApp.
Facebook owns the messaging service WhatsApp and has reportedly being looking for ways to monetise it since buying it in 2014 for $19 billion.
The new feature has appeared for some beta users of the Facebook app. There has been no official word on its general release.
Currently for most Facebook users the option to Share something comes from a drop-down menu with the options of Share, Share Now (Friends), Send as Message, Share on a friend’s Timeline and Share to a Page.
The new option to appear on the Share drop-down appears as Send to WhatsApp.
This works by sending the link for whatever is being shared so the WhatsApp receiver sees that link which can be clicked to open on their device.
Perhaps this is a precursor of a move to get WhatsApp users onto Facebook through the link clicks. They can then be monetised on Facebook, allowing the company to make money from WhatsApp without compromising it with adverts.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, in a recent earnings call: “WhatsApp Status is by far the biggest of these products and continues to grow quickly.”
He went on: “In just a few months, more than three million people are actively using WhatsApp Business. It’s a hit and it’s growing quickly.”
With more than 300 million daily active users, WhatsApp is an untapped goldmine for Facebook so moves like the above mentioned WhatsApp Business, WhatsApp Status and now linking WhatsApp and Facebook make sense for the company.
When WhatsApp was bought by Facebook its CEOs promised that would not change the company or the app for users. Since then they have both left Facebook.
The Kuom departure from Facebook was publicly announced by him on Facebook with a positive message. It was only in a Washington Post article that tension between him and the company was revealed.
This clash was apparently about Facebook trying to make money from WhatsApp by leveraging the data of users for advertising purposes.
WhatsApp’s other co-founder, Brian Acton, left the company last year and has since tweeted support for the #DeleteFacebookMovement last month.