The technical infrastructure of the three services will be integrated allowing cross messaging across platforms.

Mark Zuckerbergs next big plan Integrate WhatsApp Facebook Messenger and Instagram
Atom Tech Shorts Saturday, January 26, 2019 - 10:28

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to integrate all its messaging services, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram. According to a New York Times report, all the three services will continue to operate as standalone apps, but their technical infrastructure will be integrated. This will also allow users of all three apps to message across platforms.

Interestingly, this move, which will give Facebook a stronger grip on its users, comes at a time when Facebook has been hit by a series of data privacy scandals over the past few years.

In a statement to NYT, Facebook has said it wants to build the best messaging experiences it can as 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,” it said.

According to a BBC report, integration of the three apps will simplify Facebook’s work of having to develop competing versions of the same new features across the three platforms. Moreover, allowing cross messaging will give businesses on these apps a chance to reach out to users from one platform to another and might even make it easier for Facebook to share data across platforms to help its targeted advertising efforts, the report states.

However, this raises privacy concerns as each of the platforms has different ways of onboarding users. WhatsApp requires only a phone number while Facebook and Instagram have more details of users. Cross sharing of information in this scenario is set to invite a lot more criticism over how Facebook handles data of its users.

The project, said to be Zuckerberg’s personal project, it reportedly still in early stages and may be completed by early 2020 as it will require several thousands of employees of the social media giant to alter how WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger work at the core.

“As you would expect, there is a lot of discussion and debate as we begin the long process of figuring out all the details of how this will work,” Facebook told NYT in a statement.

The report also claims that it was this grand plan of Zuckerberg’s that led to the internal strife in the company which led both the founders of Instagram and WhatsApp to quit the company.

The integration plan, in fact, is quite the opposite of what Zuckerberg promised these apps during the acquisition, which was a lot more autonomy.

“WhatsApp and Instagram have grown tremendously since then, prompting Mr. Zuckerberg to change his thinking, one of the people said. He now believes integrating the services more tightly will benefit Facebook’s entire “family of apps” in the long term by making them more useful, the person said. Mr. Zuckerberg floated the idea for months and began to promote it to employees more heavily toward the end of 2018,” NYT reports.

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