Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty)

Incredible. Despite a seemingly endless wave of ongoing public relations crises for Facebook, the social media giant appears prepared to foist its baggage onto two of its considerably less troubled subsidiaries—WhatsApp and Instagram—by attaching its name to their companies.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Information reported Thursday that Facebook is looking to rebrand the two apps by renaming them “Instagram from Facebook” and “WhatsApp from Facebook,” a format it already uses for its collaboration tool Workplace. The rebrand will be visible when users sign into the applications and on app store displays, according to the report, and presumably elsewhere. What could go wrong?!

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The move comes as the result of Mark Zuckerberg’s frustration that his social media site hasn’t been given more props for the success of the companies, according to the Information, which sounds about right given what we know about Facebook’s big boy CEO. In a statement, Facebook spokeswoman Bertie Thomson told the Information that the company wants “to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook.”

This is, of course, an almost comically bad decision on the part of Facebook and I imagine also terrible news for its so-called “family of apps.”

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Instagram and WhatsApp—perhaps the former more so than the latter—have largely managed to sidestep some of the associative fallout from Facebook’s colossal mountain of bullshit, be it related to antitrust investigations, privacy concerns, security issues, or some as-yet-to-be-uncovered blunder.

And sure, a good percentage of consumers certainly realize that these apps are owned by a company that has yet to prove it can handle even a modicum of its own power. But adding such an explicit link between Facebook and Instagram and WhatsApp certainly won’t be doing either any favors.

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Man, and to think there was a time when influencer sponcon seemed like an Instagram death knell.

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