Facebook plans to ‘integrate WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger' together

An image of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg giving a public talk

An image of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg giving a public talk

The messaging apps will continue to operate as separate businesses, but the idea is to allow people across those services to contact each other; use your Facebook Messenger account to contact a WhatsApp user, for example.

It is understood in order to complete the process, Facebook staff are having to "reconfigure" how Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram's chatting clients work on a fundamental basis.

Facebook plans to integrate WhatsApp and Instagram with its own Messenger service in an attempt to keep users within its ecosystem. 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.

On the flak Facebook's advertising model has received that it lets it use and store more information than the company should, Zuckerberg said, "there's no question that we collect some information for ads - but that information is generally important for security and operating our services as well".

Facebook addressed the planned app merger in a statement, saying it wanted to "build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private". This strategic shift will be clearly represented in the operations of Facebook as the fact that WhatsApp and Instagram, both the applications have massive user base.

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.

No timeline for the integration has been revealed, though it is reportedly a priority for Mark Zuckerberg. For one, Facebook has already been under fire for sharing user data across its apps, particularly when it acquired WhatsApp. In 2017, WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton left Facebook, later saying, "I sold my users' privacy to a larger benefit". Currently, WhatsApp only requires a phone number to set up an account, whereas Facebook requires people to use their real identity. Additionally, Instagram's audience skews far younger than Facebook's.

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.

"If Facebook is anxious about that then one way it can defend itself is to integrate those services", Weinstein said.

One business opportunity involves behavior around Facebook Marketplace, a free Craigslist-like product where people can buy and sell goods on the social network. Eventually, that could lead to new ad opportunities or services for profit, said one of the people.

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