Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed the reports indicating Facebook’s plan to merge its social networking apps, WhatsApp and Instagram, into one platform. The company’s CEO made the announcement during Facebook’s Q4 2018 earnings call.
There have been various reports claiming the merging of WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook will make it easier to manage the apps and Zuckerberg has now explained that combining these three apps will provide more end-to-end encryption. End-to-end encryption is currently available on WhatsApp only and merging the other apps will provide end-to-end encryption to Facebook Messenger and Instagram resulting in a more secure conversation.
Zuckerberg further explained that combining these apps will help fill ‘certain ‘ gaps in communication. He also noted that the large number of users who use Messenger as their primary messaging app will benefit from the end-to-end encryption.
The CEO while sharing insights into the company’s plans of merging the apps explained why the company wants to combine the apps ‘underlying infrastructure’. Nevertheless, the merge that is supposed to benefit every Facebook service user will come into effect in 2020.
“The integration that we’re thinking about, we’re really early in thinking through this,” said Zuckerberg during the earnings call. “There’s a lot more we need to figure out. I think it’s the direction we should be going with more things in the future,” he added.
As for the design, Zuckerberg noted that the combination of the apps will create an “iMessage-like layer for SMS.” This layer would help in providing more user functionality with added security.
While Facebook is planning to integrate its various apps into one platform for end-to-end encryption on all the app, several questions regarding the privacy and how the user data will be shared across the platforms have been raised.
Facebook had been severely criticized for the Cambridge-Analytica scandal last year and recently the company is into the news for paying teenagers to install a data mining app on their devices. Despite the criticism, however, the company seems to be making progress in terms of revenue and user base.