Facebook Is Merging Instagram, Whatsapp, And Messenger Together… AI Technology Takeover
Did you hear the news today in January of 2019?
Facebook is set to merge Instagram, Whatsapp, and Messenger into one super-app. This is a crucial topic to explore here in 2019 as the AI technology arms race begins to heat up. When thinking about artificial intelligence globally, we have to see how the world politics and global economy is functioning. At this moment in time, China is facing off against the United States to do battle over who is going to win the race to implement AI technology across a variety of different important markets. This is a topic explored at length in the book “AI Super-Powers: China, Silicon Valley, And The New World Order” by Dr. Kai-Fu Lee. If this is a topic you find interesting, this book is a must-read. I have learned quite a bit about this topic from AI Super-Powers which has informed much of what I will write in this article.
We are moving into the age of AI technology implementation. What this means is that deep learning technology will begin to disrupt a number of different industries. What began in the world of digital advertising will expand into every aspect of life from healthcare, to food delivery, to music, and much more that has yet to even be imagined. When folks talk about AI technology disrupting job markets and replacing workers, THIS age of implementation is what they are discussing.
The issue here is that China has a MASSIVE jumpstart on the United States in this race…
Why? They have WeChat.
Tencent Vs. Facebook
WeChat is the number one mega app in China. Via this app, users are able to pay for food, book doctor’s appointments, do their laundry, hail a taxi, browse the internet, order takeout, text with friends, and a whole lot more… WeChat is also being constantly expanded. In addition, this app essentially runs the lives of the average consumers in China. It is extremely efficient and widely adopted. Combined with the number of individuals living in China, WeChat gives tech giant Tencent (the app creator) a MASSIVE advantage over Facebook because of the amount and the quality of data being collected by the app.
In order to program effective deep learning algorithms, a company needs data. In fact, they need LOTS of data. Furthermore, the better QUALITY the data gathered, the better.
In the United States, there is not a widely adopted app like WeChat that gives companies an eye into how users are living their daily lives. Although there is plenty of data logging online behavior, there is not so much data in the space of booking doctors, paying for food at the grocery store, ordering at restaurants, and a variety of other uses that WeChat provides. This massive adoption of WeChat has given Tencent eyes into how Chinese consumers are living their lives AND also how they are browsing on the internet. Additionally, given the wide adaptation of this app across the 1.4 billion people living in China, Tencent simply has MORE data in addition to having a higher quality of data.
Facebook is more than aware of this gap in the market.
In order to win the AI Technology race, Facebook is forced to innovate. This is what is happening here in January 2019 with the announced merger of Messenger, Isntagram, and Whatsapp. Unfortunately, I think it might have happened too slow. Tencent already has such a massive advantage and the gap is widening significantly with every passing month. Chinese entrepreneurs are already jumping on-board the AI technology bandwagon and beginning to innovate quickly while Silicon Valley entrepreneurs struggle to find a way to even begin collecting data at the same level of scale.
Instagram + Facebook + Whatsapp
Combining Instagram together with Facebook and Whatsapp additionally does not even sound like much of an overhaul…
Indeed, all that Facebook is doing is combining the messenger platforms of these three apps. In other words, Facebook and Instagram will still be separate but a user on Instagram will be able to message a user on Whatsapp and vice versa. Personally, I believe we will see a massive push to get users to begin using these messenger platforms to pay for goods in the same way as apps like the Cash app are able to accomplish. In fact, I would not be surprised if some acquisition was announced where Facebook purchases a company like Cash in order to acquire their data. If Facebook is going to compete with Tencent, they need high-quality data QUICKLY.
What will happen here in 2019? It is an interesting time in our world as these mega tech giants begin to square off against each other from across the Pacific Ocean. Together, their combined tech arms-race could evolve our species and re-define the human experience. AI technology is here and we are just getting started implementing it across a wide spectrum of different industries. Get ready and stay tuned!