Merger of three platforms would allow users to text each other without switching apps
'Facebook is reportedly considering a merger of its three messaging platforms – WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger – allowing users to send messages between the networks for the first time.
The plans are said to come directly from the Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, the New York Times has reported, and would involve rewriting the basic software of the three apps to ensure they were interoperable. A WhatsApp user would be able to, for instance, text an Instagram user for the first time without needing to switch applications.
That rewrite would also involve enabling end-to-end encryption (E2E) on all three apps, according to the NYT’s Mike Isaac. While all WhatsApp messages use that security feature, which prevents anyone, including Facebook itself, from intercepting the contents of messages, support across Facebook’s wider business is patchy. Facebook Messenger only supports E2E in a special “secure conversations” mode, which is off by default and must be enabled separately for every chat, while Instagram features no encryption at all.
While E2E is a valuable security measure for users, it has the side effect of preventing Facebook from scanning messages as part of its advertising business. The technology has also come under attack from law enforcement organisations, since it hinders their ability to intercept suspect communications in real time.'
Read more: Facebook to integrate Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp