Facebook to merge WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram by 2020, reportedly

Facebook is reportedly working to create a single messaging platform that will merge WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram’s back-end systems. 

The three apps will remain separate, but they’ll be brought together under a single underlying messaging platform or protocol. A shared protocol will allow you to send messages from one of the company’s diverse chat systems to another. So you could be able to speak to your Messenger-only friends without leaving WhatsApp.

According to the New York Times, which cites people working on the project, the goal is to complete the work by early 2020. The new backend would support end-to-end encryption for secure messaging, one of the the main reasons people use WhatsApp.

This isn’t surprising from a business standpoint: Maintaining separate code bases usually turns out to be impractical after acquisitions for a variety of reasons. But with Facebook’s continually declining reputation with respect to the privacy and security (and more) of its users, the idea that it may be able to link a relatively anonymous WhatsApp account with an it-knows-everything-about-the-real-me Facebook or Instagram account doesn’t sit well with some people.

Facebook sent the following response to our request for comment:

We want to build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private. We’re working on making more of our messaging products end-to-end encrypted and considering ways to make it easier to reach friends and family across networks. As you would expect, there is a lot of discussion and debate as we begin the long process of figuring out all the details of how this will work.

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