Facebook’s acquisition of popular messaging app WhatsApp was always going to bear interesting results. Even though WhatsApp had successfully managed to resist the urge to target its users and directly make money off them, it has since gone all out so as to make money, Many have blamed this change of heart on Facebook’s mission to find ways of raising revenue but Facebook, while trying as much to handle the crisis and manage the fallout that was occasioned by its earlier declarations, hasn’t changed tune one bit.
Users who opted into (and, reportedly, even those who didn’t) WhatsApp’s request for association of WhatsApp account data with that on their Facebook profiles have increasingly been reporting high instances of targeting by Facebook’s algorithms in the form of content presented to them on their news feeds as well as friends being suggested that they can immediately tie to their activity on the messaging app.
In what is a sign of a reversal of affairs, it looks like Facebook will, in coming days, try to send traffic to its messaging app straight from its main app.
Some Android users are reporting seeing a WhatsApp button in the Facebook for Android menu area that simply opens WhatsApp when clicked without having the user leave the app.
This is not the first time that Facebook is doing this, though. Facebook has for a long time enabled users of its Android app to easily access Onavo, a popular mobile data management application that has since rebranded. Most recently, a shortcut similar to this WhatsApp one was reported but for Instagram, another one of Facebook-acquired apps that is doing extremely well in the market.
WhatsApp currently has over 1.3 billion active users.