In an ambitious plan that will reportedly involve thousands of engineers, Facebook is embarking on a new initiative created to integrate the messaging services across Instagram, WhatsApp, and of course, Facebook Messenger.
Facebook is integrating Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp messaging.
The belief is that the more people interact with Facebook-owned messaging platforms, the less chance they will use rival services from the likes of Apple and Google. At this point, there are countless reasons users can and even should be wary of Facebook - and yet.
And it might make it easier for Facebook to share data across the three platforms, to help its targeted advertising efforts.
Instagram's founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger abandoned the company late previous year, reportedly due to Zuckerberg's increased grip on the app.
The decision came out of the blue with absolutely no indications beyond the high-profile exit of the founders of both Instagram and WhatsApp from Facebook in recent months.
In a statement, Facebook said it wanted to "build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private". That may see Facebook put under pressure by law enforcement personnel, and we wouldn't be surprised to find that the software reorganization incorporates an FBI-friendly backdoor. However, this does not tally with the possibility that it may, for example, result in Messenger's ability to see user information from Instagram or vice versa.
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Zuckerberg is said to have "clashed with dozens of WhatsApp employees" over the merger during a staff meeting in December.
By stitching the apps' infrastructure together, Zuckerberg wants to increase the utility of the social network, keeping its billions of users highly engaged inside its ecosystem.
It's not yet known whether WhatsApp will soon require users to hand over more personal info - but it seems nearly certain that the integration will irk the original founders of the messaging app.
Few websites have spun the news into how Facebook is merging WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger - which isn't entirely true.
And they'd say Cambridge Analytica sure got a lot of information from Facebook, perhaps for a fee.
One business opportunity involves behavior around Facebook Marketplace, a free Craigslist-like product where people can buy and sell goods on the social network. WhatsApp is the only one of the three messaging services to now use end-to-end encryption by default, though the feature can be enabled on Messenger.