In massive news for Facebook, the social media platform that billions of individuals use across the world; its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg wants to integrate all of the messaging services involved with the platform. Specifically, Zuckerberg wants to tie Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram in together on an infrastructure level.
The effort will certainly take a significant amount of time and effort. Employees at the company point out that this will require thousands of employees to tinker with how exactly these messaging apps function at even the most basic level. The apps will still be standalone apps – however, they will be connected by an underlying infrastructure. The company hopes to achieve this within a year’s span – either by the end of 2019 or by early 2020.
For those who are wondering about privacy issues – Zuckerberg plans on end-to-end encryption for the apps, which means that messages will be protected from outside viewers. This is obviously significant given the fact that the company has been racked by various privacy scandals, including the Cambridge Analytica scandal that affected the company’s stock earlier this year, and the data breach that occurred several months later, as well.
The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly gearing up to fine the company thanks to these scandals, but encryption might serve to improve privacy with regards to the platform. This also means that those interacting between the apps will be protected. Specifically, if one were to send a message from a Facebook account to a Whatsapp account, the message would be encrypted, as well.
Zuckerberg had previously emphasized that both Instagram and Whatsapp would be allowed to operate autonomously, although that has since changed. Both platforms have grown tremendously in both users and value, with Instagram boasting 1 billion monthly active users, and Whatsapp boasting 1.5 billion monthly active users. As a result, Zuckerberg has been floating the idea of integration among his employees for months now, and has finally decided to take action on the idea.
Not everyone is thrilled, however. There is documented tension between Zuckerberg and founders of both Instagram and Whatsapp. Notably, Instagram’s founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, left the company, specifically citing an increasing involvement in Instagram’s day-to-day operations as one of the reasons for their departure. There has also been extensive media coverage about the difference of opinion between Whatsapp founders and Facebook, as well. Facebook only offered the statement that there is “a lot of discussion and debate” about the issue, and that it would work to continue “figuring out all the details of how this will work.”