Despite the watchful eye of regulators, Facebook Inc. continues to integrate its top platforms.
The latest example of this gradual merger is “Share Story to Instagram," a new feature that lets Facebook users cross-post their Stories to Instagram.
First spotted by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, the feature remains experimental and is thus only available to a limited number of Facebook users.
Previously, Instagram users were able to cross-post their Stories to Facebook, but not the other way around.
This might not seem like a groundbreaking change, but, for Facebook, it's part of a major realignment in strategy.
Last year, it was revealed that the tech giant intended to integrate the infrastructures of Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp to enable end-to-end encryption across those properties.
Soon after, Facebook unveiled an ambitious plan to redefine private, encrypted messaging platforms.
In response, analysts have suggested that the company would have a tough time establishing itself as a leader in private, encrypted communication.
Among other challenges, “Facebook's ‘privacy-focused vision’ comes with a backdrop of looming privacy regulation and antitrust complaints,” Jessica Liu, a senior analyst at Forrester, warned last year.
Late year last, the Federal Trade Commission was reportedly considering antitrust action against Facebook to block the planned integration of its messaging apps.
Along with privacy concerns, regulators apparently fear a more interconnected Facebook would make an eventual breakup of the tech titan nearly impossible.
Additionally, regulators are reportedly concerned about how Facebook’s planned changes would stifle competition, while strengthening what many consider to be its monopolistic position.
However, some analysts suggest that Facebook’s properties are already far more integrated than regulators understand.
“There is already a great deal of back-end integration between Facebook’s properties when it comes to advertising,” eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson said in a research note, last year.