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More WhatsApp and Facebook integration

Patrick Devaney

Published

WhatsApp and Facebook linkedA lot has been made in recent weeks about the integration that is going on between Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. This goes way beyond the borrowing of app features between the three, like the recent news about a Boomerang feature coming to WhatsApp, which has been going on for years.

The big news is that behind the scenes, Facebook is working on integrating the code of all three apps so that users of each app can interact with each other, even if they don’t have an account on all three apps. Theoretically, when these big changes take place, a WhatsApp user will be able to send a message to an Instagram user from her WhatsApp account.

Obviously, this isn’t going to be the only major change and it has been becoming more and more apparent that Facebook plans to introduce these changes in a drip like fashion. We’ve already seen the share to Facebook feature land on the WhatsApp beta and now we have another little change coming in, designed to highlight how all three of these massive apps are linked.

New “WhatsApp from Facebook” tab has been spotted in advanced WhatsApp beta code

It wasn’t too long ago that serial tech tipster Jane Manchum Wong tweeted about an interesting little snippet she’d found in some Instagram code. Tucked away at the bottom of the settings menu were the words, “Instagram from Facebook”. It had been widely remarked at the time that Facebook had been exerting much more control over Instagram and the subtle new branding confirmed it.

screenshot of new WhatsApp branding
Image via: WABetaInfo

Well, in a worrying development for all WhatsApp fans, that very same branding has been spotted by the guys at WABetaInfo at the bottom of the settings menu. With everything else that has been going on, it would be naïve to expect that this is simply just a few hidden words and not a part of some bigger structural changes going on behind the scenes.

WhatsApp is for adults only

In other WhatsApp news, it also looks like WhatsApp is upgrading its terms of service to target underage users of the messaging app. The new terms of service target users in the European Union who are under 16 years of age and users everywhere else who are under 13 years of age. Once WhatsApp starts enforcing this change, it’ll be an adults only app in the EU and a teens and above app everywhere else.

Also, with the roll-out of the latest WhatsApp beta version 2.19.222, it is becoming clear that the Facebook-owned app is in fact working on a feature that will enforce the new terms of service and ban underage users. If you’re a WhatsApp user in the EU and you’re not yet 16, or anywhere else in the world and you’re not yet 13, it looks like your days on the app could be numbered.

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