New reports claim that Facebook is working on a messaging software that will merge its three most popular messaging apps: Instagram Direct Messages, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
The New York Times reports that this directive comes straight from CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who’s had clashes with the former CEOs of Instagram and WhatsApp over his level of involvement with apps he vowed would remain independent. According to the report, Facebook wants to create the best possible messaging experience, adding end to end encryption and making it easier to contact a higher amount of people.
“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,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “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.”
This transition is expected to be completed at some point in 2020, with the apps remaining separate, at least on a surface level. Once the process is complete, Facebook Messenger users will be able to contact any person with an account on either Instagram or WhatsApp.
While the name Facebook should ring the warning bells of any person concerned with their internet security, the planned end to end encryption should protect the information you exchange with others. Still, experts say that the unification of the three apps means that they’d likely share data, giving Facebook a more precise way of monitoring your moves.
No matter Facebook’s intentions, it’s tough not to read this move as a way of keeping us even more attached to their site, with every passing day making social media a requirement instead of a hobby. In a few years time it might be impossible to make a call or send a text without having to go through a social media barrier.