As spotted by the folks over at TechCrunch, Onavo Protect VPN client, which was acquired by Facebook back in 2013, is now available within the Facebook iOS app, and can be found under the banner “Protect” in the app’s navigation menu. If you tap on Protect, you will be redirected to the Onavo Protect – VPN Security app on the App Store.
The option is currently found only in the iOS version of Facebook app, which suggests that the feature is more of a test than a full rollout. The source however notes that this is not the first time Onavo’s Protect has shown up in Facebook’s app, as it has been spotted before as well in the UK back in 2016.
According to data from Sensor Tower, the Onavo app today has more than 33 million installs across the iOS App Store and Google Play. Marketing Onavo within Facebook could also lead to a boost in users for the VPN app, although the company didn’t acquire Onavo merely for its security protections.
“Onavo’s VPN allow Facebook to monitor user activity across apps, giving Facebook a big advantage in terms of spotting new trends across the larger mobile ecosystem. For example, Facebook gets an early heads up about apps that are becoming breakout hits; it can tell which are seeing slowing user growth; it sees which apps’ new features appear to be resonating with their users, and much more.”
Facebook has not yet issued an official statement on the addition of Onavo to its main app. But of course, by using the Onavo VPN, you’re providing your browsing data to Facebook, so beware.