Facebook recently revealed that it plans to combine its three messaging platforms, which are Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp Messenger, and Instagram but the merged entity is unlikely to be available anytime soon, according to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook (which owns all the platforms).
The Facebook CEO said that the combined system won’t be released until at least 2020. He noted that one of the major reasons why Facebook wants to move forward with the integration is making end-to-end encryption default in more of the company’s platforms. That will be supported by the functionality that will allow users to seamlessly move from one platform to another. As reported by Phone Arena, Zuckerberg said:
The first reason that I’m excited about this is moving more to end-to-end encryption by default in more of our products. People really like this in WhatsApp. I think it’s the direction that we should be going in with more things in the future. And I think if there’s an opportunity to use the work that we’ve done with WhatsApp there, rather than doing it in different ways in the different messaging experiences, to have that really just – to have encryption work in a consistent way across the different things that we’re doing. There are also a number of cases that we see where people tell us that they want to be able to message across the different services.
So one example is a lot of people, hundreds of millions of people, are using Marketplace on Facebook now, and a lot of people are using that in countries where WhatsApp is the primary messaging app that they use. So we have these experiences today where we’re building Marketplace and you go to message someone to buy something. And the link to basically do the messaging is over Messenger, but in that country, where people really want to be using it, is WhatsApp and we need to make it so that people can communicate across the different networks and graphs that they have or be able to do that integration better in order to facilitate more transactions and connections there.
Even after the integration, the services will continue to operate as standalone apps. The company essentially wants the users from each of these platforms to be able to connect with users from other platforms. The unification would also allow the company to match one customer’s data from one platform to another, giving it more insight in what the users are doing across platforms. It’s still not clear how Facebook plans to bring all three platforms together or whether US and EU regulators would even allow it considering the recent scandal.
Among other tidbits shared by the Facebook CEO are that there are now over 2.7 billion people using Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger each month.