Facebook’s latest integrations with Instagram could make it harder for regulators to break up the company
Today, let’s talk about a couple little things that could turn into a big thing.
In January 2019, Mike Isaac reported a noteworthy development about Facebook at the New York Times. In the months to come, he said, Facebook would unify the technical infrastructure powering Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. To the user, these changes would be invisible. But to Facebook itself, there were clear strategic imperatives to merge the apps. Among them: the move came just as the US government was beginning to consider an effort to break the company up.
In the nearly two years since, the government’s effort has accelerated. On September 15th, the Wall Street Journal reported that an antitrust case against the company could come by the end of the year. But Facebook’s effort to puree its family of apps into a single software smoothie on the back end has picked up as well. And there have been two significant developments on that front this week.
One, Facebook is now testing a unified “accounts center” that shows you which of its apps you’re logged into. As Ashley Carman points out at The Verge, this will allow you to add a credit card in one place and be able to use it wherever you use Facebook apps:
The new hub serves two purposes. One, it’ll benefit prolific posters, like brands and influencers who want to post the same content across their social profiles. They can now do so automatically and within Facebook. Second, saving payment information makes it easier for people to shop on Facebook and Instagram. Adding a credit card to either service is a small hurdle, but still, it’s a barrier to buying a product. With Facebook Pay syncing, people can get straight to buying regardless of the platform on which they see