FACEBOOK’s owner and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, plans to change the online messaging game by merging WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger into one unified platform.
The services will continue to function as stand-alone apps, but their technical infrastructure will be one.
Mark Zuckerberg plans to bring together three of the world’s biggest messaging networks, with a total of more than 2.6 billion users combined.
This new platform would allow social media users to communicate across three different platforms for the first time in history.
The project is estimated to be complete by the end of early 2020, requiring enormous efforts to reconfigure how the three platforms work.
According to a statement given by Facebook, they want to incorporate an end-to-end encryption to offer a ‘fast, simple, reliable and private messaging system’.
By merging the apps into one, Zuckerberg hopes to increase Facebook’s usage and engagement with the brand and possibly reducing the existing competitors, such as Apple and Google.
Prior to Zuckerberg’s merge plans, he acquired WhatsApp and Instagram which were independent companies, promising the platforms plenty of autonomy from their new parent company.
However, Zuckerberg’s mindset has since changed as he believes that knitting the platforms together will benefit the ‘family of apps’ in the long term by making them more useful and efficient.
But the plans have raised privacy concerns between those who prefer to use their social media apps in a different way due to how personal data may be shared between platforms and how users may need to identify themselves, as WhatsApp only requires a phone number in order to be downloaded.
Electronic Privacy Information Centre’s president and executive, Marc Rotenberg, said that the merge would be ‘a terrible outcome for internet users’.