Following ongoing privacy protection efforts of Facebook, the company decides to unify or merge WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger which would help users to send messages to one another without switching apps. Breaking down barriers between Facebook’s social platforms, an Instagram user can easily chat with a WhatsApp user without switching apps.
“We want to build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”
Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 and Instagram for $1 billion in 2012. Reports says that some employees at Instagram and WhatsApp are uncomfortable with Facebook’s change of direction, which appears to be led by CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Some of these founders reportedly have butted heads with Zuckerberg and left the company. That list of departures includes Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, WhatApp’s Brian Acton and Jan Koum and Oculus co-founders Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe.
To simplify its process, a Messenger user would be able to send an end-to-end encrypted conversation with someone who only has a WhatsApp account for instance. Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp will remain separate apps on the home screen but the common messaging features will be unified. Even though the three apps will operate separately, their messaging infrastructure will be brought together.
“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,” Facebook told The New York Times in a press statement.
According to some analysts, integrating Facebook Messenger with WhatsApp and Instagram might also make it harder for government regulators to break up the company. Facebook is expecting messaging to play a much bigger role in its future. The decision comes as Facebook faces repeated investigations and criticisms over the way it has handled and safeguarded user data. Comprehensively linking user data at a fundamental level may prompt regulators to take another look at its data handling practices. However, it’s not immediately clear how the integration could be achieved without compromising the values of WhatsApp and Instagram.