Facebooks plans to merge its messaging services with Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. While these applications will remain stand alone apps, they will also become linked so that messages can then travel between the three interchangeably.
The plan was first reported by the New York Times, and is believed to be the personal project of Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg. When completed, this merger will mean that someone who has Facebook will be able to communicate with someone who only has a WhatsApp account, but not a Facebook account and the same for other applications.
As the project has already commenced, it is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.
Currently, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram are run as three separate and competing service platforms. Zuckerberg is reportedly pushing the integration of these three products not only to increase the amount of time people spend on them but also make them more useful.
“We want to build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private,” said Facebook in a statement. “We’re working on making more of our messaging products end-to-end encrypted and considering ways to make it easier to reach friends and family across networks.”
Facebook also added that there is a lot of debate and discussion as to how exactly the system would work.
Many are wary following the announcement, however, as Facebook’s data breach has prompted questions as to how private a user’s information really is. Comprehensively linking user data at a fundamental level may prompt regulators to take another look at how the company handles personal data.