Facebook Rebranding Instagram, WhatsApp Amid Trade Commission Probe

Posted: Aug 3 2019, 3:22am CDT | by , in Technology News

 

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Facebook rebranding Instagram, WhatsApp amid FTC probe
Photo by Facebook Inc.

Facebook is changing the name of its two most popular apps, Instagram and WhatsApp, amid a regulatory investigation into the social media giant’s holdings.

Facebook is changing the name of its two most popular apps – Instagram and WhatsApp – to better disclose its ownership of the platforms. Soon, Instagram will be known as “Instagram from Facebook,” while WhatsApp will become “WhatsApp from Facebook.”

The rebranding plan was discovered by The Information, and was then confirmed by a Facebook representative.

"We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook,” Bertie Thomson, a spokeswoman for the company, told the publication.

The new names will show up in app stores and inside the apps, but will not be displayed on users' device home screens.

Employees for Instagram and WhatsApp were recently notified about the changes. The publication noted that the move is a major departure for Facebook, which until recently had allowed the two apps to operate and be branded independently. The distance reportedly helped both apps avoid being tarnished by the privacy scandals that have hurt Facebook. The decision to add Facebook’s name to the apps has been met with surprise and confusion internally, reflecting the autonomy that the units have operated under, according to the report.

The rebranding efforts come amid a regulatory scrutiny over the social media giant's holdings. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is looking into whether Facebook has acquired companies that could have become competition for it, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The investigation is said to be part of the Federal Trade Commission's antitrust probe into the social media company. In a July 25 filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook said the FTC informed it of an investigation "in the areas of social networking or social media services, digital advertising and/or mobile or online applications."

While it's unclear if the rebranding move is a government mandate from the FTC, it appears to be connected.

Facebook has yet to announce when the changes will go into effect.

This story may contain affiliate links.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/81" rel="author">Mandy Jean</a>
Mandy covers the latest news in Tech and Business.

 

 

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