A report last week claimed Mark Zuckerberg was planning on merging the underlying platform of Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram messaging into one. This would make the services interoperable and allow users from one messaging app (say WhatsApp) to send end-to-end encrypted messages to a user on Instagram. Now, Zuckerberg has provided more details on this during Facebook’s Q4 2018 earnings call.
Offering end-to-end encryption across three of the most popular messaging apps in the world be a big deal and great from a security viewpoint. The combined messaging platform will also provide users with other benefits, with tight integration across the three platforms. For example, someone can use Facebook Marketplace to list their stuff and then communicate any interested buyer directly over WhatsApp.
Facebook wants the secure messaging be consistent across all three platforms. “I think it’s the direction we should be going with with more things in the future.”
Additionally, Zuckerberg said that Messenger along with the combined Instagram and WhatsApp integration could offer an iMessage-like layer for SMS with added features and security.
He confirmed that Facebook is thinking about merging the infrastructure of the three messaging apps into one. However, they are still in “really early” stages of planning this move and they need more time to figure this out. Plus, the project is not going to be completed and “show up until 2020 and beyond.”
Merging the three most popular messaging platforms into one is definitely a herculean task and there’s a lot of planning and research that Facebook needs to put into this move. The onus will also be on Facebook to ensure that the unification ends up benefiting customers and that it does not end up sharing data across the three platforms as many users won’t be comfortable with that.[Via The Verge]