At first glance, the news that Facebook plans to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger might sound like good news.
But, it puts more of your business information in the hands of one man.
Stay in control of your conversations
Reaching out to your customers and communicating with them easily is great, but you need to stay in control of how that works. Small business owners need to streamline what they do to make their business profitable. So if something is easier for the customer, it’s easier for you.
But, joining these apps together gives Mark Zuckerberg access to an awful lot of your information. And recently, Mr Zuckerberg has not been inspiring anyone who cares about internet safety and privacy to put their trust in him when it comes to personal and business data.
Keeping the trust of customers
In the UK, the regulator has already looked at how much data is shared between Facebook and WhatsApp. In 2018, Mr Zuckerberg testified to the US Congress on privacy, and the allegations that Facebook were involved with Cambridge Analytica, selling personal data and the US election. But that’s not the reason this news should make small business owners nervous.
Joining up these popular apps makes sense for Facebook. Instead of updating three separate apps, they can concentrate on one. And, it’s too soon to tell how different governments will respond to this kind of merger. But what does a merger of these three apps mean for small business?
It could mean access to a wider customer base if more businesses use Facebook advertising. The question is – do you want o move more advertising to a platform some people don’t trust? Asking the question doesn’t mean Facebook isn’t a useful place to sell and grow a business. At ThinkFirst, that’s exactly what we do – Think First!
Messenger, as Facebook’s native communication app has always felt intrusive. It’s been deleted many times from phones at ThinkFirst! Some people love Messenger and wouldn’t go near WhatsApp. The desktop WhatsApp app is great for quickly exchanging messages with clients without picking up the phone.
Phone or FaceTime is the best way to communicate with our clients although of course our absolute favourite is face-to-face.
A quick straw poll with the ThinkFirst crew revealed there was no one who used all three regularly. So, what does this mean for us as a small business? And, what does it mean for you?
We’ll have to wait and see, but our instincts are telling us that for small businesses, it never pays to put all your eggs in one basket. Watch this space!