Published: Sun, January 27, 2019
Tech | By Constance Martin

Facebook wants to integrate Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram

Facebook wants to integrate Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram

WhatsApp and Instagram - both acquired by Facebook after independent success - and the separated Messenger app will share the same infrastructure by the end of 2019 or early next year.

SAN FRANCISCO-Facebook said Friday it is trying to get its messaging apps to be friends, allowing encrypted missives be exchanged no matter which of its services are used.

"Clickbait and other junk may drive engagement in the near term, but it would be foolish for us to show this intentionally because it's not what people want", Zuckerberg wrote. WhatsApp has in excess of 1.5 billion monthly active users but it hasn't been able to generate a great deal of revenue up to now. On top of this, Zuckerberg also wants each of the three messaging services to feature end-to-end encryption.

In a statement, Facebook said it wanted to "build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private". Stitching the apps together may increase data-sharing among the properties, helping Facebook identify users across the platform, and improve the ability to target ads to them. Zuckerberg's vision centres around a service based on real identity. Integrating them could keep users within Facebook's ecosystem - it paid $US19 billion ($26.5 billion) for WhatsApp in 2014 and $US1 billion for Instagram in 2012. Doing so, plus adding end-to-end encryption, has its pros and cons, mostly involving user privacy.

But messaging functionality would be shared across them, so users on Instagram could text people on WhatsApp.

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"Sometimes this means people assume we do things that we don't do", Zuckerberg said of the business of supporting the social network with targeted ads.

The report from The New York Times also highlighted that the employees at WhatsApp were annoyed by the plans of CEO Zuckerberg.

While all three will remain stand-alone apps, at a much deeper level they will be linked so messages can travel between the different services.

Interestingly, Mark Zuckerberg's op-ed came just hours after CCN spotlighted a damning 70-page report suggesting that more than half of Facebook accounts are fake. Matching Facebook and Instagram users to their WhatsApp handles could give pause to those who prefer keeping their use of each app compartmentalized.

That's right, Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp will become one through a "long process" of integration, Facebook said in a statement to the BBC. The planned integration was reportedly a major impetus for top Facebook executives to leave the company: WhatsApp's founders, Jan Koum and Brian Acton, in May 2018; and Instagram's founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, in September.

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