Mark Zuckerberg wants to merge WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger but how will this affect users? And why do you want to integrate the three services?
Mark Zuckerberg’s empire has faltered in the last year as a result of all the scandals that Facebook has gone through, and it seems that the businessman wants to strengthen its foundations by merging the three instant messaging platforms that the company has: WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger.
You may have already heard about Facebook’s plans to merge these three services but do you know what motivated their decision? Is everyone in favor of it? And what’s more, how will the integration of WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger affect you as a user?
Let’s see what are the keys to understand the future merger of WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger:
How will WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger work after the merger?
That the three platforms merge does not imply that there will be a single app for all three. Each service will continue to have its own app separately, explained 4 people involved in the project to The New York Times.
Instead, they will unite the technical infrastructure of the different services. This will allow a person who only has Instagram to communicate directly with one who only has WhatsApp, even though they are using different apps. They hope to complete the integration by 2020.
“All messages will be encrypted from end to end, to ensure the privacy of messages. At the moment this only happens on WhatsApp.”
However, the privacy of the users with the merger is one of the issues that most concerns the experts. Currently WhatApp only requires a phone number when you register, unlike Facebook that asks for real identities. Integrating the three could give less control to users who want to keep their data separately. In addition, one would have to wonder to what extent it would comply with competition laws.
Facebook explained in a statement that they wanted to ensure the “best messaging experiences they can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private, “they added. Explaining that its main objective with the merger is to ensure that more of its messaging products are encrypted from end to end and facilitate communication through their networks.
This is an attempt by Zuckerberg to retain and increase the number of users using Facebook services, and prevent them from switching to alternatives such as those already offered by Apple and Google.
In addition, integration could generate new sources of income. For now, Facebook has yet to find a way to get money from WhatsApp, which generates little revenue, and from Instagram’s messaging service. Apparently Zuckerberg has no concrete plans on how to generate more profits with the merger but it would lead to new ways to obtain revenue generated by advertising and could even add other paid services.
What debate has been generated around the merger?
One of the most common questions that the decision has generated is about the privacy of users. We must bear in mind that they are communicating the merger after a year in which Facebook has been involved in almost unheard of privacy scandals.
However, this is not the only reason for debate. When Facebook acquired WhatsApp and Instagram, they assured that they would remain independent of their parent company. However, they have not kept their word.
Both Jan Koum, founder of WhatsApp, and Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, founders of Instagram, have left the company allegedly in the wake of tensions over the loss of independence of the apps after being purchased by Facebook, along with privacy issues. Integrating the infrastructure of the three apps would be the last step to revoke the independence initially promised.