Facebook Fusion: Being efficient is everything

It’s a classic message for Friday. Shortly before the weekend: Medially, the attention threshold generally falls. Editors are already preparing for the free Saturday and Sunday. Friday, a popular day when publishers like to announce inconvenient personalities or dismissals, but usually have no big stories to report. However, if the breaking news is out of the house New York Times It can be an uncomfortable weekend. And so it is now one for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

The New York Times, in addition to the Washington Post Currently the investigative voice in Trump Land, surprised by the announcement that Facebook is planning a merger of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, three side projects of the house that dominate the social media world.

Concerns at second glance

The first look at the message: Aha, it is “only” a technical merger of the chat function of the three programs. After all, it does not make any administrative sense to have three large teams in three different locations develop the same functionality – in one house, on Facebook. Goal, so the New York Times in her report, it was to unite all three platforms by the beginning of 2020 at the latest, or even better by the end of 2019, using a common infrastructure. Thousands of Facebook employees are currently working on the merge project.

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Although the intended reorganization was still “at an early stage”, the plan was already clearly recognizable: “to create the best possible experience” for the users of all three platforms. And between the lines of the note: The individual apps would apparently also each be kept to themselves. For now …

So half so wild? But a typical Friday message? And for users a wonderful thing, because Zuckerberg also strives to communicate directly between the three services in the future?

Just at first glance. Because who wants to understand the plans, they must evaluate less technical and more structural.

The roadmap for the efficiency of the parent company

In 2012, Facebook bought the Instagram photo network for a billion dollars (about 880 million euros). In 2014, Zuckerberg and his colleagues decided to acquire WhatsApp – for the equivalent of utopian 16.7 billion euros.

From then on, Facebook was a conglomerate consisting of the two new services and the basics Facebook and Facebook Messenger. As a hobby Zuckerberg may have seen the whole thing in the actual Facebook founding, meanwhile, he trims the company but only on efficiency. Hard enough: Instagram now earns money with ads, WhatsApp does not succeed in the market of private users (even if advertising is to be displayed for the first time, albeit only in status), but only with WhatsApp Business, the business variant of the messenger Meanwhile, five million companies around the world are conducting their internal communications.

How Facebook benefits from the merger

Combining the chats of the three programs – even more so if they can communicate across platforms in the future – leads to a growing total reach of Facebook. Similar to Apple, Facebook is logically trying to bind users of its subsidiaries even more to the in-house ecosystem. And that in turn leads to rising advertising revenues.

Facebook itself would benefit from the chat amalgamation. On the one hand, the actual mother is currently losing reach worldwide – and the actually young target group out of sight. Facebook sees the meanwhile as a playground for active seniors who want to be particularly hip. The young people themselves prefer to stage themselves via Instagram. Young daughter should help so pregnant mother.

In addition, the merger will enable Facebook to increase the reach of WhatsApp Business, which in turn will trigger a reactivation of its Facebook Marketplace platform.

Motto: Everything helps everyone. Crossover at its best.

Safety is secondary to Zuckerberg

The central mastermind remains Facebook or Zuckerberg. After the numerous data breaches in recent months, there is no indication that the founder will withdraw from operations. On the contrary. Zuckerberg seizes even more power with the help of Instagram and WhatsApp: In the past few months he has pushed the former company founders of Instagram and WhatsApp out of the overall company and replaced them with his own confidential agents.

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More or less unnerved, Kevin Systrom (Instagram) and Jan Koum (WhatsApp) commented on their withdrawal. They no longer saw the independence of their brands. Koum commented, “I have sold my users’ privacy by selling WhatsApp to Facebook.”

1.5 billion users worldwide with WhatsApp, one billion with Instagram, another 2.2 billion with Facebook – because (once again) safety-related aspects take a back seat. Only WhatsApp offers the end-to-end encryption, on Instagram and Facebook this is not guaranteed. Despite all the promises, observers do not currently get the impression that there is security on Facebook’s new plans for corporate efficiency.

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Privacy advocates long alarmed

But the hurdles for security and, above all, data protection are high, especially in Germany, as the parent company Facebook has to experience again and again in these days. Keyword regulation and privacy.

The Hamburg Data Protection Commissioner, responsible for Facebook in Germany, currently has a judicial review of whether a data exchange between WhatsApp and Facebook is unlawful. This is precisely the view of the DPA. The Bundeskartellamt has long since become aware of the parent company. At issue here is whether Facebook violates German competition law when Facebook and WhatsApp exchange their data.

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The future is now

Securing the future of the weakening Facebook group should therefore be the real concern of the merger of the three heavyweight networks, under the guise of better usability.

An indication of this is also the exorbitant increase in quotas on Instagram in 2018. He had more Facebook connections than ever before. Many very conspicuously placed links on Instagram to Facebook seem to be a test module for the plans that have now become known, which Facebook, incidentally, is facing New York Times confirmed to have been thought. Has worked.

Just recently, Federal Minister of Justice Katharina Barley (SPD) said in a guest contribution for ZEIT Online to the effect that it was “no reliance” that Facebook give his best. At the same time Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had previously stressed, also in a guest post, that only advertising on Facebook would guarantee that everyone could afford the service: “I believe that everyone and everyone should have a vote and be able to to interact with others. ”

The question that everyone should answer for themselves is only: Does it necessarily have to be on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram?

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