By WSJ City 

Facebook said it would rebrand its Instagram and WhatsApp platforms to include the Facebook name. It is a bit ironic that in the year the social giant declared itself to be privacy-focused it would suddenly want its name plastered on everything it owns, writes Laura Forman for Heard on the Street.

KEY POINTS

--- A survey last year showed a majority of Instagram and WhatsApp users didn't know the apps were owned by Facebook.

--- A spokeswoman said last week the move was made to "be clearer" about the products and services it owns.

---- It could help Facebook to build a case against a mounting antitrust investigation.

---- Or at least dispel the notion that users aren't aware of who owns their favourite apps.

--- But marketing research that included the "from Facebook" branding change revealed it wasn't universally "liked."

Why This Matters

The Wall Street Journal reported that when people were told Instagram was owned by Facebook, they rated the platform lower than when the connection wasn't pointed out. That makes the move appear quite risky.

A Pew Research survey last year found more than 40% of Americans were taking a break from checking Facebook's original app and more than one-quarter deleted the Facebook app from their phones in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Another #deletefacebook movement could inflict wider damage across Facebook's platforms. Leaning in is fine until you fall face first.

A fuller story is available on WSJ.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 08, 2019 04:10 ET (08:10 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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