Following a year of Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp, the social network seems to be developing deep integration between the messaging platform and its Android application. Geektime reports that Facebook has begun testing a new feature on its Android application and will incorporate a “send” button with the WhatsApp icon along with the status actions buttons (buttons which allow you to like, comment and share) which appear at the bottom of a post.
The report adds that the new feature is being tested on version 18.104.22.168.13 of the Facebook Android application. Some screen shots to demonstrate how the new integration will look like:
It is also worth noting that Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook will let WhatsApp operate independently and we had pointed out that through its acquisition it is more likely to use WhatsApp to improve the personalization and relevance of Facebook.
Considering the increased usage of WhatsApp as a messaging platform to send links through forwards, the integration of the send button could also provide publishers a new metric on how their content is being shared on WhatsApp and give a count. Remember we already have a share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn button on the web which can give us a count on how content is being shared on the web but a WhatsApp button is usually missing on these pages. Perhaps the new move could also see a “share on WhatsApp” on the desktop websites considering that WhatsApp also has a web application for browsers.
The move also makes sense considering that globally 85% of Facebook’s monthly active users come from mobile as of December 2014. Facebook’s global MAUs stood at 1.39 billion and in India its user base has grown by ~5.35% from 112 million monthly active users (MAUs) to 118 million MAUs in Q4 2014. Facebook India’s daily active users (DAUs) are at 55 million, out of which 49 million DAUs come through mobile, accounting for over 89% of Facebook’s daily traffic as of December 2014.
WhatsApp, on the other hand, had claimed to have 600 million monthly active users worldwide as of August last year. India is also the biggest market for WhatsApp and in November said that it has hit 70 million monthly active users in the country.