Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp could soon become one, sort of
Send a message from WhatsApp to Messenger
The move, which is currently in the early stages, will see thousands of employees gradually rebuild all three services from the ground up over the course of this year. Once complete, the platforms will continue to work as independent apps. However, there will be one common underlying infrastructure.
For the regular user, this means that somebody on WhatsApp would easily be able to send messages to somebody who only has Messenger or vice versa. This feature would also be compatible with Instagram’s Direct Messaging, although this will likely be spun off into a standalone app once the work is finished.
In light of Facebook’s recent privacy issues, Zuckerberg is also said to have ordered the integration of end-to-end encryption throughout the entire infrastructure. This means that the social media giant won’t be able to use messaging data from its users to its advantage. However, targeted advertising throughout all three platforms should be expected.
Presumably, the new infrastructure will be tightly integrated with both Facebook and the social media aspect of Instagram. If true, users of the platforms should easily be able to share Stories and individual posts with their friends through either of the apps. However, it opens up the messaging apps to improved targeted advertisements as the accounts will likely be linked to social media profiles.
It does, however, remain to be seen how Facebook will achieve this. After all, WhatsApp currently requires a phone number to sign up while Instagram and Messenger require email addresses and identities.
Another mystery comes in the form of Stories. Currently, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp all include their own take on the feature. The logical thing would be to combine all three features into one. But if it did happen Instagram could see a big drop in activity. Because of this, it seems likely that the feature will either be removed from WhatsApp and Messenger entirely or maintained in its current state.
When will it all arrive? This year? Next Year? 2021?
According to today’s report, the decision has generated quite a bit of internal conflict within Facebook. In fact, dozens of WhatsApp employees are said to have clashed with Zuckerberg in a staff meeting last month over the plans.
Currently, Facebook plans to complete the integration by the end of this year or early 2020 at the latest. In a statement, the social media giant seemingly confirmed this by stating that there are “lots of discussions and debate” as the process of “figuring out all the details” begins.
As things stand, Zuckerberg is said to have no concrete plans at the moment for monetization. However, tighter integration and improved usage data will surely result in new forms of revenue sooner or later.