There’s one thing Facebook’s suite of social networks is lacking: notifications.
Besides Facebook wall notifications, Facebook group notifications, Facebook event notifications, Facebook Messenger notifications, Facebook Live notifications, notifications about WhatsApps, Instagram messages and LiveChats, there just aren’t enough ways for friends to reach out to one another.
At least, we can only assume that’s what execs were thinking when they decided to let WhatsAppers tag friends in groups chats they’ve already muted.
Or perhaps it’s just another attempt to extract value from the platform, which Facebook acquired for $21.8bn two years ago.
In the attention economy, time means money – and the more time we spend on WhatsApp, the easier it is for Facebook to get brands to invest in the platform.
We already know Facebook cares about how often people use the app because WhatsApp said so much last month.
Revealing their users’ mobile numbers would be harvested and analysed by its parent company, a spokesperson said:
“By coordinating more with Facebook, we’ll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services...”
Facebook’s preferred method of sponsorship for WhatsApp is a form of selective marketing via chatbots. We don’t yet know when it will roll out.