In the last few hours, Facebook has publicly announced its plans to merge WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.
Despite the fact that they are separate apps, Facebook has plans to link the three. Therefore, users will be able to send messages between the platforms.
Described by The New York Times as a personal project of Mark Zuckerberg, the merger would allow Facebook users to send messages to someone who only has a WhatsApp account.
The project has already begun. However, work isn’t expected to be completed until the end of 2019 or even early next year.
The idea behind the plan is to, ultimately, increase the usefulness as well as the amount of time spent on the platforms.
Facebook has announced the plans, adding: “We want to build the best messaging experiences we can; people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private.”
The plans mean that Facebook will now have the ability to more effectively compete with Google’s messaging services and Apple’s iMessage.
Facebook’s “Internal Strife”
However, the news has also received some negative backlash. The New York Times has reported that the decision to merge platforms has led to “internal strife”. It has even been rumoured that this project is one of the main reasons as to why the founders of both Instagram and WhatsApp left the companies last year.
Overall the merger has been met with mixed reviews. Although it will allow much easier communication for families across platforms, there are also worries over data sharing. The UK’s Information Commissioner has already conducted investigations into Facebook and WhatsApp’s data-sharing policies. Therefore, the merger will likely prompt regulators to take another look at its data handling practices.
We will be keeping an eye on the story to see how this plan will affect Facebook’s data-sharing regulations as well as its impact on users.