It’s now official that Facebook has merged its three messaging platforms – WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger – allowing users to send messages between the networks for the first time.
The plans had been underway and was being carried by Facebook tech team.
According to Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, the company managed to rewrite the basic software of the three apps to ensure they were interoperable.
A WhatsApp user will now be able to, for instance, text an Instagram user for the first time without needing to switch applications.
That rewrite will also involve enabling end-to-end encryption (E2E) on all three apps.
According to Ric Digital Solutions Managing Director Jaica Richards While all WhatsApp messages use that security feature, which prevents anyone, including Facebook itself, from intercepting the contents of messages, support across Facebook’s wider business is patchy. Facebook Messenger only supports E2E in a special “secure conversations” mode, which is off by default and must be enabled separately for every chat, while Instagram features no encryption at all.
While E2E is a valuable security measure for users, it has the side effect of preventing Facebook from scanning messages as part of its advertising business. The technology has also come under attack from law enforcement organisations, since it hinders their ability to intercept suspect communications in real time.
“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 news has raised concerns among both privacy researchers and antitrust experts.
By Erick Mongare
Digital Marketing Consultant