For the first time in over half a decade, Facebook wants to let you know that it owns Instagram, the hyperpopular rival social networking app it bought for a $ 1BN steal back in 2012 .
Ditto messaging platform WhatsApp – which Mark Zuckerberg blasted $ 19BN on a couple of years later to continue feeding eyeballs in the growth engine.
Facebook adds its own brand name with the other two – in the following format: & # 39; Instagram from Facebook & # 39; ; & # 39; WhatsApp from Facebook. & # 39;
The reclassification of cheap perfume was first reported by The Information citing three people familiar with the matter who told the staff of the two apps were recently notified internally about the plan to re-mark.
"The move to add Facebook names to the apps has been met with surprise and confusion internally, reflecting the autonomy under which the devices have operated," it states. Although it also reported that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also been frustrated that Facebook is no longer honoring the growth of Instagram and WhatsApp.
So it sounds like Facebook may be hoping for some reverse osmosis branding – aka also leveraging the popularity of its cleaner social apps to detox the scandal-stricken mothership.
Not that Facebook says such a thing, of course.
In a statement to The Information that confirmed redirection, it explained it this way: “We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook. ”
The reclassification also comes at a time when Facebook is facing at least two antitrust investigations at home – requiring Facebook and other major tech giants to be broken up is now a common feature of the campaign trail …
We can only consider which legal advice Facebook needs to receive in terms of what it should do to try to break down arguments that c should deprive its couple of golden geese.
Arguments like the fact that most users of Instagram (and WhatsApp) do not even know that they are using a Facebook-owned app. As it stands now, it will be quite difficult for Facebook's lawyers to argue that Instagram and WhatsApp users would be harmed if the apps were cut free in a broken order.
But now – with the clumsy "from Facebook" construction – Facebook can at least try to make a case that users are in a knowledgeable relationship with Facebook where they willingly, though not lovingly, place eyeballs in Zuckerberg's bucket.
In that case, Facebook does not tell you the Instagram user that it owns Instagram for your benefit . Not even a little.
Note, for example, the use of the comparative adjective "clearer" in Facebook's statement to explain the intention of the re-marking – rather than a simple statement: "we will be clear".
That is definitely not to say that it will broadcast ownership of Instagram and WhatsApp individually to each and every user on these networks. More like that will try to creep in the Facebook brand. Which is far more in the corporate character.
At the time of writing, a five-day update of Instagram's iOS app already contains the new design – though it looks far darker in pattern than splashed rebrand, with only the faintest display of gray text at the bottom of the screen to reveal that you are about to be sucked into the Facebook empire (against a giant big blue & # 39; Create new account & # 39; button flashing to be tapped on top …)
Here is the landing screen – with the new brand. Blink and you will miss it …
So not full disclosure then. More like just a lightly overlooked dab of the legal stuff – to try to deal with antitrust risk versus the risk of toxicity on Facebook brand poisoning (pure is ) – the wells of Instagram and WhatsApp.
There are signs that the company is experimenting with some extremely diluted brand washing as well.
The iOS app description for Instagram includes the new brand – tagged with a slogan for ad style that swoops: “Get closer to the people and things you love. “But, honestly, who reads app descriptions?
and WhatsApp to become the most important ways people communicate on the Facebook network," he wrote. "If this development is successful, it will interact with your friends and family across the Facebook network to become a more basic private experience. "
The" From Facebook "tag thus seems like only a small light that covers fire for the truly magnificent Facebook hopes to retire as the breakout bullet speeds downward tube: Aka Infrastructure core business development
From three networks to a massive Facebook-owned user pool
One network to manage them all, one network to find them,
One network to bring them all, and in the regulatory darkness bind them