Facebook plans to allow users of its Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp apps to chat with one another, according to a new report from the New York Times.
All three of the platforms will continue to function as standalone apps, writes the New York Times.
However, thousands of Facebook engineers are currently working to rebuild the underlying architecture of each app so that they can communicate with one another.
Moreover, in a surprising move, all three platforms will support end-to-end encryption moving forward.
Of the three apps, only WhatsApp supports end-to-end encryption by default. WhatsApp’s steadfast support of the privacy-focused feature was a major source of conflict between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and WhatsApp’s co-founders Brian Action and Jan Koum.
Facebook reportedly plans to complete work on the integrating the three apps together by the end of this year or early 2020.
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.
In a statement to MobileSyrup and other publications, a Facebook spokesperson said: “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.” the spokesperson added.
The news comes as Facebook faces intense scrutiny for its recent role in the spread of fake news and misuse of private user data.
Source: New York Times