The messaging services on Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are being planned to be integrated by Facebook.
While still remaining stand alone applications, the integration is being planned at a much deeper level which would allow linking of the three apps so that there can be free flow of messages between the different services.
It was at the start of a “long process”, Facebook has reportedly told the media. .
This development was first reported in the New York Times and it is believed to be the brainchild of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
After completion, this integration would allow a user of Facebook to directly communicate with an individual who only is a member of the WhatsApp service. This is something that is not currently possible as the three applications do not have a common core.
According to the New York Times report, the company has already started the work to integrate the three elements and it is expected that the entire merger of the three apps would get completed either by 2019 or early 2020.
According to reports, the aim of Facebok in pushing for this integration is to make the three services more useful and help to increase the amount of time that users spend on the three platforms.
According to Makena Kelly speaking on tech news site The Verge, it would be able for Facebook to compete more efficiently and effectively with the messaging services of the Google and Apple’s iMessage with the integration of the three apps which would effectively join all its users into one massive group.
“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,” it added.
There was a lot of “discussion and debate” about how the system would eventually work, said the statement from the company..
Till now, Instagram and WhatsApp have been largely allowed to operate as largely independent companies by Facebook and the plan to integrate them with Facebook clearly marks a significant change in the strategy and policy of the largest social media company of the world.
There is some degree of “internal strife” by the plan of Zuckerberg to push to connect the messaging system, reported the New York Times. This was one of the reasons that last year, the founders of both Instagram and WhatsApp left their respective companies.
The decision comes as Facebook faces repeated investigations and criticisms over the way it has handled and safeguarded user data.
Regulators could be spurred to conduct a fresh review of data handling practices at Facebook if the company is bale to comprehensively link user data at a fundamental level. Investigation on the amount of data that is shared between WhatsApp and Facebook is already being conducted by the UK’s Information Commissioner.
(Adapted from BBC.com)