Facebook plans to merge WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger apps

An image of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg giving a public talk

Zuckerberg was called to testify in Congress and European Parliament previous year after a scandal that allowed political consultancy group Cambridge Analytica to access the personal information of 87 million users - including Facebook's best guess at their political leanings.

But Mark Zuckerberg reportedly has a plan to integrate three popular Facebook-owned messaging apps - Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger - under a single underlying messaging platform or protocol. It has been cleared that all three apps will still stay separated and will work like they do now.

Facebook said it is working on making more of its messaging products end-to-end encrypted, and considering ways to make it easier for users to connect across networks. The goal is to allow people who may use one platform to send messages to someone on another platform.

Analysis In an unprecedented decision that has left tech observers struggling to contain their shock, Facebook has chose to create a common software architecture for its three main apps: Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

The motive for integrating Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp is, as always, to increase user engagement and keep the company's billions of users entangled in its ecosystem of apps. Several WhatsApp employees have left or plan to leave because of Mr. Zuckerberg's plans, the people said.

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"Sometimes this means people assume we do things that we don't do", Zuckerberg said of the business of supporting the social network with targeted ads. Apparently, Zuckerberg wants to not only make the backend more cohesive for products including WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger.

The move is now slated for either late this year or 2020 and will involve some fundamental rewrites to how each platform now works according to sources citied by the New York Times.

Interestingly, Mark Zuckerberg's op-ed came just hours after CCN spotlighted a damning 70-page report suggesting that more than half of Facebook accounts are fake. With Facebook and other social media sites, the services are free "and we work separately with the advertisers to show you relevant ads".

The New York Times report refers to particulat "internal strife" that led to the departure of both WhatsApp and Instragram's founders following Zuckerberg's increased push for the adjustment. WhatsApp founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum exited for similar reasons. It also only asks for your phone number, while Facebook demands confirmation of your full legal name and identity. But Americans are fragmented across multiple services, like Apple's iMessage, SMS and various Google chat apps. Additionally, Instagram's audience skews far younger than Facebook's.

Facebook was now said to believe closer integration will benefit the firm's "family of apps".

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