Facebook plans to unify infrastructure for Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp
- Author: Terrell Bush Jan 27, 2019,
Jan 27, 2019, 1:00
Under new marching orders from Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook plans to integrate the messaging services of its three most popular apps, a move that would allow for cross-communication among users on WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger, according to The New York Times' Mike Isaac.
The three services will, however, continue as stand alone apps, the report said, citing four people involved in the effort. That could make it easier for Facebook to track users' activities across its family of apps and target ads more effectively. Currently WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption on by default for all conversations, while in Messenger you can opt into end-to-end encrypted chats. So far, there have been no statements from Instagram or WhatsApp surrounding the rumors. 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 is reportedly pushing the integration plan to make its trinity of services more useful and increase the amount of time people spend on them.
Knitting together Facebook's apps is a stark reversal of Zuckerberg's previous stance toward WhatsApp and Instagram, which were independent companies that he acquired.
Still, according to the New York Times, this move has prompted controversy within Facebook, with Instagram's founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger quitting past year apparently because of Zuckerberg's increased control over the service.
The move is now slated for either late this year or 2020 and will involve some fundamental rewrites to how each platform now works according to sources citied by the New York Times.
Zuckerberg has reportedly been "floating" the idea for months, but has been met with heavy opposition.
The social network was allegedly interested in showing adverts to Whatsapp users, whilst the app's founders wanted to introduce tough encryption which would stop the harvesting of users' data.
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. Facebook and Messenger ask for real identities.
Facebook did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment. According to the report, all the services would now use end to end encryption, but other privacy concerns have anxious WhatsApp employees so much they have or are planning to leave. Eventually, that could lead to new ad opportunities or services for profit, said one of the people.