Mark Zuckerberg has made stitching together the vast Facebook universe a priority. According to The New York Times, he wants his company to integrate chat services between Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
In a statement , the company stated that it wants to “build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private.” The social media giant added: “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.”
While Facebook Messenger was built in the company, and eventually become a unique property in 2014, Instagram and WhatsApp are both purchases with different markets. WhatsApp is tremendously popular in southeast Asia, while Instagram is most popular in the . They also require different information for each log-in: WhatsApp does not require a named identity, for example, while Facebook Messenger does.
Despite integration, all three services would remain independent of each other. Presumably, this would help keep users within the Facebook universe of apps.
According to the Times, Zuckerberg has also mandated that all three chat services feature end-to-end encryption, which allows only the messenger and the recipient to view what's been sent (as opposed to the company providing the service, or the government).
While WhatsApp was built with end-to-end encryption in mind, this would present a change of pace for both Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct Messages. Facebook Messenger for "secret conversations" while can enable end-to-end encryption, and Instagram DMs have no readily visible encryption at all.
“As you would expect, there is a lot of discussion and debate as we begin the long process of figuring out all the details of how this will work,” Facebook said in its statement.
The company expects those discussions to end relatively soon, as its plan to merge all three systems shows late 2019 or early 2020 as a target date.