Facebook is planning on integrating all messaging systems of WhatsApp, Instagram and FB Messenger in 2019. According to the New York Times (NYT), for the first time, this will allow users to send messages to each other across the three messenger applications.
Impact on Users
Security and privacy can be impacted. Currently, WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption (E2E) which ensures that only you and the person receiving the messages can read what is being sent. Facebook messenger’s encryption is by default ‘OFF’ and Instagram does not feature any encryption. Meaning that messages sent are open and their content can be used for target marketing.
On a more positive note, according to Facebook, the merge will allow a Messenger user to send a text to a WhatsApp user. Without switching applications, making messaging faster and more efficient. The company also stated that it will enable E2E across all platforms, making all applications more secure than they previously were.
Reasons for Merge
The integration has been in the pipeline for Mark Zuckerberg for a while. According to the NYT it is one of the main reasons why the founders of WhatsApp and Instagram mysteriously quit. However, with Facebook’s massive privacy breach scandal in 2018, the company thought it was best to keep the merger plans under wraps. The merge is positive for the company. By amalgamating all services, Facebook has more customer data to share with advertisers and this will help increase revenue generated from advertising which has recently been declining.