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Facebook to merge WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram messaging


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Facebook to merge WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram messaging

The company wants to make it possible to send messages among the services while keeping the brands separate.

 
 

Facebook plans to create a single underlying messaging platform for WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, a move that would allow users to send messages across the three standalone apps. 

The three apps will remain separate, but they'll be brought together under a single messaging platform or protocol. The changes would make it possible to send messages from one of the company's chat systems to another -- so you could speak to your Messenger-only friends without leaving WhatsApp.

Facebook said it's still figuring out the details, but the apps would include end-to-end encryption, which ensures that only the participants of a conversation can view the messages being sent. The tech firm, which has faced a series of scandals over data misuse and privacy, plans to finish this work by the end of this year or early 2020, according to The New York Times, citing four people working on the project. 

"We want to build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private," a Facebook spokesperson said 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."

The strategy also highlights how Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is exerting more control over the companies Facebook acquired for billions of dollars. Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 and Instagram for $1 billion in 2012. Some of these founders reportedly have butted heads with Zuckerberg and left the company. That list of departures includes Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, WhatApp's Brian Acton and Jan Koum and Oculus co-founders Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe. 

Integrating the apps could help Facebook make more money from ads by getting its users to spend more time texting in its chat apps rather than turning to other texting services by Apple and Google, according to people who spoke to the Times. 

But the changes might not sit well with some Facebook users, who have become more wary about the data the company shares with other tech firms following a number of scandals. Last year, revelations surfaced that UK political consultancy Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of up to 87 million Facebook users without their permission. 

It's unclear what user information will be shared among Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. 

Facebook is expecting messaging to play a much bigger role in its future. In October, Zuckerberg said a growing number of users are shifting from posting publicly to sharing privately in messaging apps. 

 

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