Facebook Making Changes & Integrations with Instagram & WhatsApp

social media updates with mike

It’s late summer and often around the world August is a holiday month but not in the social media updates world!  Things are flying with social networks adding new features and Facebook is making changes! Here are some of the top social media updates you should know.

Facebook Wants to Integrate Instagram Direct Messages With Messenger

Facebook is in the process of merging Facebook Messenger with Instagram direct-messages. Currently, in Instagram’s direct-messages users can only message people within the platform. Facebook is taking steps to combine all their different messaging platforms into one. This started with the Instagram direct message team now reporting to Facebook’s Messenger team. 

Why It Matters

So far all we really know is that Bloomberg stated that “Instagram Direct, won’t change much, but the underlying technology powering the service will,” so we will have to wait and see how this changes messaging in the future. However, combining messaging systems allows for messaging and connecting with people who only use one platform or just finding people in new ways. For businesses, Messenger is already changing the way businesses can communicate with customers and have an even larger impact.  This is one to watch.

Facebook to Rebrand Instagram and WhatsApp

Facebook has confirmed to news sources that they will be rebranding Instagram and WhatsApp to ‘Instagram from Facebook’ and ‘WhatsApp from Facebook.’ This is bound to bring up some controversy as Facebook’s name has come with some issues the past few years with security and more!

Why It Matters

This change won’t directly affect anything on the apps, other than the name in the app store. This rebranding by Facebook could be due to new updates like the previous one of Facebook combining Messenger and Instagram direct messages. It’s a way of keeping things under the Facebook umbrella for sure.  However, according to Business Insider, a Facebook spokesperson told them that “we want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook.” It seems Facebook wants to have the Facebook name more closely associated with all of their apps. What’s it mean? Facebook is the core and everything flows in and out of its ecosystem like Ads do now.  

Facebook Search Ads

This is interesting!  Facebook ads are already a cost-effective way for paid advertising to reach a specific target audience; however, if Facebook includes search ads you would be able to target people specifically looking for what you offer on Facebook, similar to what you see on Google. This is currently in testing mode for certain advertisers since last year. If you want to learn more about the Facebook search ads possibility check out Jon Loomer’s post.

Why It Matters

This would be a step forward towards Facebook doing what Google does!  It relies on people using Facebook Search to find things (do you search for things on Facebook?) and then it would inject ads into the results.  It would be an opportunity for marketers to have "search ads" on Facebook, meaning you can target people actually searching for what you offer rather than just you reaching those who may be interested in what you have to offer!  It's one to watch to see if it rolls out fully.

Facebook Group Privacy Changes

Facebook is making privacy changes to Facebook Groups in order to make it easier for users to determine the privacy for the group. There are two sections, first, you choose public or private and then you choose visible or not visible and they provide explanations for each. 

Why It Matters

The reason for this change is users were having a difficult time understanding what they needed to do for the type of group they wanted. These changes will simplify the process but also help people be more in control of their privacy as it will be easier for them to understand the differences in Facebook’s Group privacy settings.  Facebook Groups are great for building loyal communities and are tool marketers should consider for brand advocates.

Spark AR On Instagram

Instagram is rolling out Spark AR on the platform. This new feature will let you create augmented reality effects and custom face filters without any coding. 

Why It Matters

Does your business use face filters or effects?  Some effects are appropriate for businesses to use and can enhance engagement with posts; however, this new feature is showing the shift in features and how we can expect more and more AR (augmented reality) effects to become available on platforms.  


That’s a wrap on the most recent updates social media marketers should be aware of!  I’ll be back in a few weeks with the next round of new social media updates!

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