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Apps for WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and other social networks on a smartphone Image Credit: AFP

According to various news sites, the two apps will soon be known as ‘WhatsApp from Facebook’ and ‘Instagram from Facebook’.

“The move is part of a broader change towards linking the three apps together and bringing them under the Facebook banner, according to The Information, which first reported the change,” quoted The Independent.

Dubai-based Samuel Turner, managing director of Those Social Guys, said the new name change is said to have come after it became known in January that Facebook wanted chats and messages to pass seamlessly between Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook.

“The whole idea has been to show that the two apps are now part of Facebook. I believe the new name change has already started to roll out. Usually we see changes in one place and then it rolls out slowly to different countries. Soon you will find the name change when you download the apps. Basically it will be the new legal name for the apps,” said Turner.

“Basically going forward, with the name change it will be clear that both these apps are linked to Facebook,” he added.

According to The Independent, the new name will reflect on Facebook's internal branding but also in the name that appears in the Google Play and App Store. “The names on a device's home screen will stay the same for now, but it's likely that the new name will appear when you open it,” quoted The Independent.

According to Dubai-based Turner, Facebook already follows the same pattern with its app made for communicating around offices, which is known as "Workplace from Facebook", and its virtual reality platform Oculus has similar branding. Even Instagram has an app with a similar name: "Boomerang from Instagram".

Meanwhile on August 3, the Bloomberg reported the move is controversial because both of the apps were born outside of Facebook. "The move is controversial because both of the apps were born outside of Facebook, have very different corporate cultures and have thrived, in part, by having their own identities with consumers. Founders of the photo-sharing app and the messaging service left Facebook in 2018."

“We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook,” Bloomberg quoted a Facebook spokeswoman.

Bloomberg also said in its news report titled "Facebook to Put Its Name on Instagram, WhatsApp Brands", that the Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether Facebook has monopoly powers. "The regulatory body is looking into whether the social-media company acquired rivals to remove competitive threats and seek dominance in the industry," Bloomberg was quoted saying. 

Quoting a Facebook spokeswoman, Bloomberg also confirmed the changes in wording will appear in the apps’ log-in screens and in the Apple iOS and Google Play stores, for now.