The world?s largest social network clearly has bigger plans for WhatsApp.?It has started to implement significant changes to both applications in the past months. The Android version of the popular messenger finally received an official voice calling feature a few days ago. Over the weekend, some users have found out that Facebook now displays a new WhatsApp button that can be used to send Facebook posts as messages directly to their WhatsApp contacts.
Built-in WhatsApp ?Send? button
Last Saturday, a tech website called GeekTime learned that Facebook is currently testing a WhatsApp integration feature in the app?s Android version. If you go through the screenshots posted, you?ll see that there?s an additional WhatsApp logo-shaped icon alongside the usual Like, Comment, and Share options. The icon is labeled with ?Send? — clearly reflecting its function of allowing users to directly share a particular post with their contacts from the said messaging app.
This newly discovered feature is reportedly offered in the soon-to-be-released Facebook Android version 18.104.22.168.13. It?s the first sign we have seen of WhatsApp being integrated with its parent company?s social media app. It appears to be available to select users, who are most probably beta testers too.
How it will affect Facebook
You might think that this isn?t really a groundbreaking feature at all. However, this can be great news for those who frequently use both Facebook and WhatsApp to easily share Facebook posts with more friends. After all, the new WhatsApp button does not seem to be out of place in terms of design compared to the other buttons beside it. It?s possible that this feature is just in its early stages and that we could expect a new icon and added functionality once Facebook release newer versions of the Android app.
On one hand, this integration might also be a double edged sword for the social network as it can sway users away from its own Messenger app and lure them into using WhatsApp. Regardless, it?s still too early to describe what kind of impact this will have on Facebook?s goal of achieveing a wider reach.
Moreover, some are speculating that this new Facebook WhatsApp button is just the first step. Rumors are rife that the Menlo Park-based tech giant is asking developers from both sides to work on deeply integrating the world?s biggest social network and the world?s most popular mobile messenger. It?s possible that they are also considering the ability to send messages across both WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Photo Credit: ?Google Play