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Featured, Social News

Facebook’s Secret Plans To Interconnect Messenger, WhatsApp, & Instagram

If you haven’t been on social media lately and are feeling a little disconnected, do not worry. This could well be a thing of the past. Because despite being in the middle of a privacy scandal, Facebook is working on integrating WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. This move has been initiated to create a solid messaging experience for all.

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The three have been functioning as independent entities so far, more like competitors. But not anymore. As reported by the New York Times, major plans are underway to integrate them.

Facebook’s secret initiatives

Facebook has always been on a mission of bringing people together building communities, and fostering friendships. So it’s no surprise that it is taking a step further and is now planning to enable cross-messaging between Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp as revealed by the NYT.

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Users will enjoy end-to-end encryption so that they can communicate with those not present on other Facebook platforms within the company’s ecosystem itself. Although Facebook has not specifically revealed the timeline for this, rumour mills have confirmed that it will definitely happen.

Also Read: Facebook’s new feature to help blind users

People are all for messaging these days, and social messaging has obviously become the norm, more common than calling itself. It therefore won’t be surprising at all to see people welcoming this kind of an initiative.

Competition with Apple & Google

Facebook is certainly hoping that people will hop on to this merged system as their primary mode of messaging leaving behind Google’s messaging services and Apple’s iMessage. At a time when competition is stiff and the growth is slow, Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is apparently hopeful that its billions of users will stay connected and engage within Facebook’s own ecosystem and move away from competitors like Google and Apple.

Facebook Founder & CEO, Mark Zuckerberg/ Courtesy: Cnet
Facebook Founder & CEO, Mark Zuckerberg/ Courtesy: Cnet

Would it help?

So how would this help us? Well, if you are on Messenger and want to contact someone who’s only on WhatsApp, the integration will allow you to contact this person regardless of whether they use Facebook Messenger or not. Although the plans are still in a very nascent stage, the integration is expected to happen by end of 2019 or in early 2020.

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There is no denying that some other super-app might emerge till then rendering the whole integration effort futile. And who knows, Facebook might just take over that one too. This will help position itself stronger into the game. The possibilities can be many, but what’s good for users is the fact that all apps will incorporate end-to-end encryption as ordered by Zuckerberg to ensure that messages are protected at all costs.

A statement released to CNBC by a company spokesperson on the condition of anonymity in this regard, states:

[Facebook wants to] build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private. We’re working on making more of our messaging products end-to-end encrypted and considering ways to make it easier to reach friends and family across networks.

Facebook spokesperson

As always, only time will tell if this integration is as promising as it seems to be.

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Google Now The Most Advocated Brand In India

YouGov India recently did a survey about who has the most brand advocacy in India and the results are out. Global search engine giant Google tops the list, for the second time in a row. WhatsApp bags the second spot while MakeMyTrip holds the third position. The others in the rankings were Airbnb, YouTube Swiggy, Metro, Amazon from positions fourth to eighth respectively while hospitality giants Marriott and Hyatt came ninth and tenth.

yougov

What is YouGov

YouGov India is a subdivision of the internet-based market research consumer and data insights firm, that is headquartered in the UK. The firm did a survey asking the respondents about how likely they would recommend a particular brand to their friends or colleagues. They also asked what brands the respondents would ask their friends and colleagues to avoid. A report was made based on how the current and previous customers brand supporting.

The sectors that were taken in the survey were financial services, food delivery services, hotels and booking sites, internet and service providers. The leading brands of these five sectors were taken into account for the survey. YouTube, Metro rail and Marriott have dropped in the rankings compared to their positions last year. And Facebook lost its position from the top ten rankings.

In the case of financial services, banks are resonating well with their customers. Kotak Mahindra, Axis Bank, and Reliance life insurance have seen some significant improvement compared to last year. Birla Sun life insurance is now at its peak, going to a whopping 39 points from last year’s 26.

What rankings say

Deep Bhatia, General Manager of YouGov India has issued a statement that, “The rankings reveal brands that have made a significant impression on consumers, enough for them to endorse the brand to others. In the current digital world, it is no surprise that three out of the top five are technology brands. A recommendation from friend or family provides a very valuable testament for a brand. The top ten brands have managed to deliver positive experiences and have succeeded in building strong advocacy among their customers in India.”

On the global level, Netflix is reigning the ranks in eleven markets and Google is right behind, in ten. Netflix has grown tremendously popular ever since it started its own filming and bring famous shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Sons of Anarchy.

OK Google! Bad News

Google has also been in the news recently for the giving out information on girls’ hostels, schools, colleges and paying guest accommodations when searched for ‘Bitches near me’. People were mortified to learn about this and have sent feedback to Google. This, in turn, has raised arguments about the AI and how pop culture derogatory terms are being picked up by it. This is adding up to the whole controversy of a mass walkout from Google earlier this month. It was claimed that the company did a poor job handling sexual harassment at the workplace. There have been multiple discussions going on about how the toxic #dudebro culture is still very intact at Google.

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Featured, Social News, Trending News

Apple To Take On Facebook, WhatsApp With The Launch Of Business Chat

Apple is all set to make its presence felt in the instant messaging world with its newly announced Business Chat. This feature was announced last year at Apple’s worldwide developer conference and is likely to come out later this year.
The firm says Business Chat will launch with the iOS 11.3 update this spring. From what we hear, it is going to be loaded with some relevant features for businesses. Let’s find out more.
Why is ‘Business Chat’ relevant?
The use of mobile payments and ability to communicate one-on-one with businesses and consumers has proven fruitful to retailers. Business chat is specifically designed to strengthen the connectivity between businesses and consumers
The business Chat would be an added feature to the existing iMessage. Through this feature, consumers can now instantly initiate a dialogue with the company. It will also enable consumers to make payments via Apple Pay and accomplish other business/consumer obligations like filling forms, choosing products etc., depending on business’s needs.
The concept of personalisation in marketing is gaining momentum day by day. Companies need to seem easily approachable and technology can help them set up a friendly chat with consumers and that is where Business Chat comes in.
(source: Medium)
Giving iMessage a little nudge
Business is not the first thing that pops into your head when you hear iMessage which is mostly used for engaging in informal conversations with family and friends. Business Chat will inarguably make iMessage more useful than before. It will also provide stiff competition to Instant messaging giants- Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter.
What ‘Business Chat’ has that others don’t
Business Chat can be considered to be the most convenient app for customers trying to find companies. It enables users to search for a business via Safari Search, Siri or Maps and then start a conversation with a click on the chat button that appears next to the search result. No other business chat app features such a shortcut.
Apple Pay, another handy feature allows users to make hassle-free payments. This will end the cumbersome process of using third-party online wallets.
Major hiccups in ‘Business Chat’
Business Chat will be available only to Apple users. No doubt Apple has a very strong hold on the market but not all mobile phone users use iPhone. Businesses cannot simply ignore the m-commerce traffic generated by Android users and most of the companies are looking for viable chat options which can be operated on both Android and iOS platforms. This will limit the usefulness of Business Chat to a large extent.
Owing to the needs of marketers, Facebook recently launched ‘WhatsApp Business’ which is loaded with simple but cool features to make the consumer/business dialogue more interactive. A look at ‘WhatsApp Business’ reveals it is destined to achieve greatness but only time will tell how good it will fare against ‘Business Chat’.
All said and done, ‘Business Chat’ seems like a wonderful addition to its features but it’s too soon to predict the efficacy of the app in the real market as marketers have loads of options to choose from.
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