February 17, 2019


By now, you’ve probably heard bits and pieces about Facebook’s messaging merger with Instagram and WhatsApp, and you’re wondering what it means for you and your business.

I’ll get to that, I promise. First, I want to take you back to 2010 and the seventh season of The Office. Remember WUPHF.com? Here’s a little reminder…

I don’t know what WUPHF stands for (does anybody?), but for 2010 it was a kind of marketing genius, and obviously the inspo for this merger, right?

When you send a WUPHF, the recipient receives an email, fax, print out, SMS, page, tweet, Facebook message and AIM. Phew. Regardless of where your recipient is or what they’re doing, you’re pretty much guaranteed to reach them. Needless to say, this would pretty much be a marketer’s dream. It’s also the dream (and brain child) of Ryan – creator of WUPHF.com-‘s obsessive girlfriend Kelly in The Office.

Obsessive girlfriends and marketers – one and the same really, aren’t we?

WUPHF.com claims to be a seamless messaging experience – although in reality in would very quickly drive us all crazy – despite its complicated and expensive multi-window setup. Here’s how the (fictitious) sign-up process works…

Facebook also claims that this new merger will result in a seamless messaging experience. To put it simply, if I use Facebook and Facebook Messenger, but not Instagram or WhatsApp, I’ll be able to communicate with people on those networks from my Facebook account without having to sign up for other services.

If you’re big on planning out your customer’s journey and making use of every possible touch point (if not, why not?), this is seriously exciting news for you.

And obsessive girlfriends.

This merger – coming early next year – could bring with it brand new ad formats, the opportunity to learn more about our customers, and the ability to talk across platforms without having to create new channels or complicated chatbots.

But here’s the thing…

Back in 2010 when the office brought us WUPHF.com, data protection wasn’t such a big deal, and the big bad GDPR didn’t even exist. In 2019, it’s a whole new world. Ryan kind of had it easy.

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp’s messaging platforms all handle data in completely different ways. WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption; Facebook only offers encryption through its “Secret Chat” feature; Instagram offers no encryption at all.

So, what is this merger going to look like?

We have no idea. In an ideal world, messages would be end-to-end encrypted across the board. Catering to the users who require the most security in their messaging would ensure that the majority of the user base on all three apps would stay put.

Facebook, however, doesn’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to keeping data locked down. Throughout 2018, I can’t remember a time when they weren’t embroiled in some sort of data scandal. With this in mind, we can’t go making any assumptions. If you use WhatsApp and you’re concerned about the implications of this merger, here are some alternative solutions.


Build a secure messaging system into your website: this means taking the security of your data entirely into your own hands. It’s the solution we’ve gone for at WestCoastCo. Need a hand implementing something like this? Get in touch!


Telegram: known best for its use in Instagram engagement pods. A super easy to use and super easy to setup system. It’s similar to WhatsApp so an easy transition, but much nicer on the eyes.


Wickr: Great for team collaboration. This app also supports voice notes and hands-free communication, so it’s perfect if you require a multimedia experience.

Are you ready to embrace cross-platform marketing?
WestCoastCo. are here to help. Contact us today to arrange your free marketing consultation.


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