It’s long been rumoured that WhatsApp and Instagram owner Facebook would merge its multiple messaging platforms together to allow them to function as one. Earlier this year we heard that Mark Zuckerberg planned to integrate its three services, allowing for some sort of interoperability between them.
It’s counter to position the company help when it acquired Instagram in 2012 and 2014, when the stated goal then was to keep each platform independent, safe in their respective autonomy from parent company Facebook. Now, speaking at Facebook’s F8 developer conference, Messenger’s head of consumer product Asha Sharma confirmed that there’ll be interoperability between the three platforms. All messages will be end-to-end encrypted as they are on WhatsApp right now.
“We believe people should be able to talk to anyone anywhere,” she said. Earlier this year, in a statement, Facebook said it wanted to build the best messaging experiences.
“[We want to] build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private.” It added: “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.”
Sending a message through any one of those services should see your message end up with its intended recipient, no matter which platform they’re using. Thankfully, they’re not rolling all three applications into one, but I’m still not keening on the interoperability. I like to keep my Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram usage wholly separate. Still, it does make sense because of how regional each platform is. Here in SA (and in much of the rest of the world), we largely use WhatsApp for messaging, but in the US they most use Apple’s iMessage and Facebook Messenger. Knitting them together allows Facebook to keep users within their information-gathering ecosystem.
Last Updated: May 2, 2019