Facebook owns WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, which have been running as separate and competing platforms. While they will remain as stand-alone apps, Mark Zuckerberg plans to merge all three, allowing a Messenger user to communicate with someone who only has a WhatsApp account and the like. The personal project of the Facebook founder will simplify the development of features and allow for consistency between the apps.
This process has already begun and is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 or early next year. By creating this trinity, Facebook could step-up as a bigger competitor to Google’s messaging services and Apple’s iMessage.
The New York Times claims Zuckerberg’s push for the integration caused “internal strife” and was part of the reason both founders of Instagram and WhatsApp left last year.
This decision comes at a critical time as Facebook is in the middle of multiple data privacy investigations. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), a national data protection authority in the U.K., has already conducted investigations into how much data is shared between Facebook and WhatsApp.
Image Source: BBC