Meta announces the integration of Workplace and WhatsApp. The integration will allow content in Workplace to be sent to WhatsApp contacts.
The integration is to be introduced sometime in 2022. The feature will allow Workplace users to send posts, photos and videos from Workplace to WhatsApp. According to Ujjwal Singh (head of product at Workplace), the integration was designed to bridge the gap between managers and front-line employees.
At a glance, that’s nothing special. Thousands of organizations use the WhatsApp Business API to develop connections of proprietary software and WhatsApp. The WhatsApp button at the bottom of this article is a perfect example: clicking it launches WhatsApp, which forwards the article to a contact. Yet, Meta’s announcement is significant. Not because of the feature, but the message that the organization sends.
Meta’s integration problem
Meta is the parent company of WhatsApp, Workplace, Instagram and Facebook. The organization has always been cautious when integrating its own platforms. Although Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook are connected, Meta is not particularly interested in bringing the details to attention.
Integrations are subtle. The platforms retain their own identity. If it were up to Meta, no one would have to know how data is processed behind the scenes, because Meta doesn’t always play by the rules.
In September, WhatsApp received a fine of 225 million euros. The DPC (Irish privacy watchdog) found out that the Meta was untruthful about the ways in which WhatsApp and Facebook exchange data. The incident is not the first — and certainly not the last. Meta’s platforms have been under scrutiny for years. Nonetheless, the organization continues to integrate.
In 2019, Mark Zuckerberg launched a project to merge Facebook Messenger, Instagram DMs and WhatsApp. Since 2020, it has been possible to reach Facebook contacts from Instagram, and vice versa. Meta has a goal in mind. The integration of WhatsApp and Workplace is the next step.