Facebook is reportedly planning to merge Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.
If you’re like me, the first thought to cross your mind when reading this headline might have been ‘well, isn’t that what Facebook was originally?’
Back in the day, the internet giant was the coolest place to share photos, while also being an efficient way to send messages. It was basically your one-stop shop for social media once you’d moved on from Myspace or Bebo, and it was the first site people logged on to after coming home from school.
That is, until everything moved to the smartphone and the company decided to make Messenger its own app, challenging WhatsApp for the crown for instant messaging. On top of that, with the rise of Instagram people just didn’t really care about statuses any more.
What is Facebook’s plan?
By Chris Fox, technology reporter
Facebook probably didn’t want to talk about this in the middle of a privacy scandal, but its hand was forced by insiders talking to the New York Times.
Until now, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger have been run as separate and competing products.
Integrating the messaging parts might simplify Facebook’s work. It wouldn’t need to develop competing versions of new features, such as Stories, which all three apps have added with inconsistent results.
The New York Times is reporting that Facebook plans to combine messaging services across its applications, merging chats from WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger. A WhatsApp user would be able to start a chat with an Instagram user, breaking down barriers between Facebook’s social platforms.
The work will unify the messaging services of the different apps, but they will remain as three separate entities.
Then again, Facebook would probably just take over that one, too.
According to insiders, Zuckerberg has also ordered all of the apps to incorporate end-to-end encryption, a step which would protect messages from being viewed by anyone except those in the conversation.
A company spokesperson released a statement on the matter to CNBC, saying:
[Facebook wants to] build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private.
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.
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