Facebook wants to make it possible for its users to send messages to one another through WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram without having to switch apps. However, the three apps which are now separate will still remain independent. Facebook plans to bring them all together under one messaging platform. When the changes take effect, the users will be able to send messages through the three apps. For example, if you’re on Messenger and you want to send someone a message on WhatsApp, you won’t need to switch apps to do so. The messages can be sent through Messenger and the receiver will get them on WhatsApp.
Facebook said though that this is just an idea and the details are still yet to be figured out. Nonetheless, the social media company is promising that all the apps will feature end-to-end encryption. This means that only participants of a given conversation will be able to view what’s sent to them. Reports indicate that these features could actually be available by the end of this year or early in 2020. The news also comes in the wake of a series of privacy and misuse of data scandals that rocked Facebook over the last year or so. The company is still dealing with the fallout from these scandals and there will be privacy experts who will want to know whether the integration of these three apps under one messaging protocol will affect privacy.
The strategy is also seen as an indication of the increasing control that Mark Zuckerberg is exerting on the companies that Facebook has acquired. The social media platform acquired WhatsApp a few years ago for $19 billion and Instagram for $1 billion. Some of the people who founded these apps have since been pushed out after the acquisitions. For instance, the co-founders of WhatsApp Jan Koum and Brian Acton who were given seats in the Facebook board had to leave their positions because they didn’t agree on the future that Facebook should be taking with regards to the messaging app. The founders of Instagram too left recently saying that they’re looking for a new challenge.
Merging the three platforms could be a game changer in Facebook’s hopes to revamp its ad revenue over the coming few years. But there will still be people who will be wary, especially because of the recent history that the social media platform has had when it comes to data sharing and security. Facebook is yet to confirm whether the integration will require user data sharing across the three platforms or the kind of data that will be needed to that effect.
There are also some analysts that fear that the integration will open the doors for increased merging between Facebook and the apps that it has acquired, making it very hard to separate the companies. In the end, regulators will have a very hard time dealing with any arising issues related to the social media giant. Facebook feels though that messaging is the future of social media and as such, the company is dedicating resources to unlock new experiences for its users.