The superchat that will let the world converse10 August 2020
/ Zuckerberg has thus broken the promises he made in the past /
Dear readers, welcome back! We’ll talk about Zuckerberg and his WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram platforms. Given the business that revolves around remote working globally, Zuckerberg does not want to miss out, and thus has developed a superchat platform that will connect the entire web: the Facebook Rooms already present on WhatsApp will see the integration of Messenger on Instagram and the chat groups of the main platform. The end result will be a superchat that brings together billions of users. Considering the 2.5 billion active accounts on Facebook as of last April, the 2 billion WhatsApp and 1.3 billion Messenger users, the total is over 5 billion. Obviously, many of us have multiple profiles and accounts, in many cases on all 3 platforms, so the figure needs to be revised downwards. However the order of magnitude is still colossal.
Menlo Park began working at the beginning of last year on the “cross-social” communication system announced some time ago. Back then Zuckerberg stated that the future of his products would be intimate and private, that social media would progressively move from virtual to more restricted spaces. But not before 2020: now, that year is here. It is no coincidence that several updates have been made to groups in recent months, and Rooms have recently been launched.
Lockdowns around the world have also accelerated the need for parallel channels to allow communication in a safe and less chaotic way. The first traces were discovered by Italian developer Alessandro Paluzzi, who identified some details hidden in the programming codes of the beta versions of the 3 apps that are destined to merge, at least as far as messaging is concerned. In a series of tweets, Paluzzi in fact published some screenshots where some sections of the applications are visible. For example, the personal settings on Instagram include an entry called “Get Messenger in Instagram”, also changed to “Update Messaging” with the Messenger logo, which gives the idea of being able to chat continuously, switching between the 2 programs. This is also confirmed by another opening screen for users: “There’s a new way to message on Instagram.”
Forwarding of messages, stickers, reactions: nothing is missing, the experience is becoming increasingly similar on both sides. According to a strategy that will see the apps remain autonomous in terms of their distinctive functions but will connect them more closely in terms of communication between users. On the other hand, for some time now Menlo Park has no longer communicated the data on active users, limiting itself to illustrating the overall audience for its products. The same applies to Messenger: there is a screen in which users will be informed that they can now chat with users on Instagram. But that’s not all. The system may also allow users to retrieve posts shared via the 2 chats, and repost them either on Facebook or Instagram. However apart from this, there are no other clues at the moment.
Other signs of integration can also be seen in WhatsApp: while for several weeks now, under the attachment functions, it is possible to switch to Messenger and start a Room with up to 50 users, the Italian developer and WABetaInfo have in fact discovered how Facebook is preparing systems to allow people to chat between the world’s most widely used app and the parent platform. For example, building a shared database that will need to orchestrate and align WhatsApp’s functions (if a contact is blocked, if a conversation has been archived, if push notifications are active and so on) with Messenger. Again, the aim is to chat seamlessly.
Today there are still people who don’t have a Facebook account or never use it. These people in the near future will be able to chat by jumping from one platform to another, which will encourage the use of Facebook or even the activation of new accounts.
Oscar Giacomin / General Manager, Facto Edizioni
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