WhatsApp has been owned by Facebook since 2014 Source: AP

What’s up with the WhatsApp button on your Facebook app?

FACEBOOK is trialing an app integration with its WhatsApp subsidiary, in which users may be able to access the popular messaging platform through the social media giant’s main app without having to shift between the two.

According to The Next Web (TNW), some users are reporting seeing a WhatsApp button in Android versions of the Facebook app which acts like a shortcut to the platform. Not everyone can see the app, and the majority of reports are emerging from Android users, but likely the service could be rolled out on certain iOS devices as well.

An Android user, Arvind Iyer, told TNW that he noticed the button after he shifted to the Danish-language version of the app. Denmark frequently receives the first iterations of new features, or is a favored testing grounds of Facebook rollouts.

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It’s not surprising that Facebook is now experimenting with new integrations of its subsidiaries as it seeks to expand its sphere of influence across varying formats and audiences. Facebook has seen a consistent bleed of its user base to its younger platforms such a Instagram, so bringing on integrations of its subsidiaries could help its user base keep growing.

For instance, last year Facebook integrated Instagram onto its platform and now allows users to manage both their Instagram and Facebook accounts through a single Pages Manager inbox. These new integrations have largely benefited small businesses on these platforms.

Facebook introduced enterprise tools for businesses via its Messenger app, possibly a model for WhatsApp’s future tools. Source: Facebook

Furthermore, the shift to include WhatsApp onto the main platform could also represent another move of the social media giant’s goal to dominate the digital ad business. Facebook has already begun launching Facebook ads within WhatsApp, in which businesses on Facebook can reach WhatsApp users, though users have to agree to be messaged in the first place.

The rise of the messaging platform as a form of customer service and a customer conversion initiative where businesses can speak directly to their niche audiences. Messaging platforms and chat interfaces are becoming the next frontier for content marketing, with certain companies experimenting with new ways of reaching out to their customers through chat platforms such as Telegram, WhatsApp and Facebook’s Messenger.

This is more clearly seen in the rise of chatbot usage by business all across the Internet, from websites to direct messaging applications within business apps. Chatbots are interesting forms of marketing because they convey a company’s specific identity, mission and values, which can add to the overall value of campaigns.

Companies are now moving these opportunities onto messaging platforms which in some ways are more embedded within a user’s ecosystem.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp popularity soars in India providing a free marketing tool to companies

By embedding WhatsApp directly into its main app, Facebook may be trying to weave a tighter web around users of its subsidiaries in order to grow its ad business. The company appears to be trying to grow an ecosystem into which users and businesses alike will be drawn into to ensure that all the elements of a healthy business ecosystem are basically built into the app itself.