According to various international media news sources including the Guardian and BBC Facebook is planning to integrate WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram so they can cross talk to each other on the orders of the big jefe, Mark Zuckerberg himself.
No, they are not going to do this by making a chimera app with bits taken from all three chat services. Instead they are going to work it out in such a way that all three apps will remain distinct apps. However you would be able to say, send a message to a user using Instagram’s chat services from your WhatsApp.
Currently each service is distinct. A messenger user can only talk to other messenger users. Those on WhatsApp can only chat on with those on WhatsApp and if you want to talk to an Instagram user you will have to be on Instagram yourself. Of course this has necessitated the need for some of us to create three accounts.
This sort of fragmentation of services however comes at a cost. For various reasons most users just use one chat service in practice. For Zimbabweans that is WhatsApp, usually because they only have WhatsApp bundles and most of our contacts are on WhatsApp. Even me being the techie that I am , I have found it tedious to monitor all the inboxes. I often use WhatsApp everyday the government permitting, occasionally check Facebook like once a week and haven’t touched my Instagram in like two months.
So when is it coming
No doubt this is a useful feature but it’s not going to happen overnight. Facebook revealed to the BBC that this was going to be the start of a long process. The technological process required to see this change through is likely immense.
In fact there is talk that it will involve a complete rewrite of the base code which is understandable as Instagram does not even have End to End ecryption (E2E). Messenger does support E2E but not by default. In the end though it will be worth it. It will mean users of all three app can talk to each other. It will also mean you can reply to your WhatsApp chats from say Messenger.
Implementing this feature will also have one added side benefit. In theory Mark will no longer be able to scan your messages and see your nasty secrets because of end to end encryption. Currently Facebook scans your messages for ad serving purposes.
Bring it on Jefe
Integrated chat is probably one of those features that so cool you cannot believe it does not exist. So si jefe bring it on already.
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