Facebook reportedly plans to integrate the social network’s messaging services, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. The apps would continue to exist separately, but with the change, users would be able to sent messages from one service to another, according to four anonymous sources from the New York Times.
This would allow a Facebook Messenger user to send a message to a WhatsApp user without a Facebook or Instagram account.
With the integration of the chat services, Facebook hopes to be able to better compete with other messaging services like SMS, Apple iMessage and several Google apps, according to the sources of the New York Times. Integrating the chat services of Whatsapp, Instagram and Messenger should be finalized by the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020.
The new integrated message service would support so-called end-to-end encryption. This is a form of encryption that prevents Facebook itself to decrypt the messages sent through its servers. Therefore, the social network is also unable to read the contents of messages.
Currently only WhatsApp supports end-to-end encryption by default. Facebook Messenger supports strong encryption only when users use the ‘Secret Conversations’ feature.
It’s unclear how Facebook will implement end-to-end encryption in the integrated app. Also unclear is, how the data sharing between the different Facebook platforms will happen after the integration.
Against The New York Times, Facebook has stated it wants to offer the best possible messaging experience and that there is a lot of discussion and debate, while the company start the long process of preparing the integration of the messaging services.