Last year Facebook acquired WhatsApp, a popular rival online messaging service, for $19 billion and appears to have begun testing some level of integration between the two services. Appearing in a new version of its Android app (v 188.8.131.52.13), Facebook allows users to send and share news directly to WhatsApp.
The new feature appears as a simple “send” button alongside the usual array of responses to a post. You can then share the item with a user in your WhatsApp contact list. However, I haven’t been able to find the button using Facebook v32, so perhaps this feature is only available to voluntary beta testers. See the screenshot below for a quick look.
For Facebook, just having users share additional content between the two platforms will likely drive more ad revenue its way and could help bring additional users to each of the two platforms.
We will have to see how integration with WhatsApp affects Facebook’s own Messenger service, or if the company intends to keep the two as distinctly separate platforms.