Facebook Reportedly Working On Cross-Messaging Feature for WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger
- Author: Delia Davidson Jan 27, 2019,
Jan 27, 2019, 1:01
Facebook in November 2018 also said it had removed 85 accounts on Instagram and 30 on Facebook that the company feared were linked to Russian operatives and were covertly orchestrating online activity on the eve of the US midterm elections.
The statement said there was a lot of "discussion and debate" about how the system would eventually work.
While each service would maintain its standalone app, the new unified backend would support end-to-end encryption, which allows for secure messaging - one of WhatsApp's main appeals. Facebook says the move would also enhance users' privacy by introducing encryption to protect the messages from being viewed by anyone except those involved in the conversation.
What's unclear is how the integration would affect the way Facebook shares and store data of users who don't use all of the company's apps. The report adds that, while Mark Zuckerberg is thinking of making this move, employees of Instagram and WhatsApp are not really looking forward to it. Over the years, billions have found this useful, and we've built more services that people around the world love and use every day.
On Dec. 7, employees gathered around microphones at WhatsApp's offices to ask Mr. Zuckerberg why he was so invested in merging the services.
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No timeline for the integration has been revealed, though it is reportedly a priority for Mark Zuckerberg. Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger left in September after reportedly becoming frustrated with Zuckerberg's increased day-to-day involvement. Matching Facebook and Instagram users to their WhatsApp handles could give pause to those who prefer keeping their use of each app compartmentalized.
WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, who left the company a year ago to start a foundation, urged people to delete their Facebook accounts in March 2018 over privacy concerns and gave an push to the #DeleteFacebook movement.
Part of the problem is that Facebook requires you to provide your real identity, while WhatsApp is often favoured for its anonymity. But Americans are fragmented across multiple services, like Apple's iMessage, SMS and various Google chat apps.
Potential Concerns. For a company that has taken as much heat as Facebook in terms of how it manages user data, Zuckerberg's plan to integrate the three apps looks overly problematic at first glance. But a more engaged audience could lead to new forms of advertising or other services for which Facebook could charge a fee, they said.
We reached out to Facebook for comment but had not heard back at time of writing.