Facebook founder Mark Zurkerberg has revealed plans to integrate WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram’s messaging services.
From as early as the end of this year or the start of 2020, whichever of the three DM (direct messaging) services you slide into, you’ll be accessing the same software. Instagram and WhatsApp are already both part of the Facebook chief’s company portfolio, but the updates will tie the functionality of all three popular apps closer together.
The news was broken on Friday (25th January) by The New York Times. But relax ‘Gram fans, the article also confirmed the apps themselves will remain separate, so you’ll still experience the life-affirming terror of accidentally tapping your crush’s photo from February 2012.
A combined total of 2.6 billion users (approximately one-third of the earth’s population) use the messaging services, so almost everybody will have an opinion on this.
It’s not known how this development will affect the status of VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or video calling for the apps, which is of particular interest to the UAE, where the service is inhibited.
However it could be good news for those with concerns about the safety of personal data, as Facebook wants the new combined service to have end-to-end encryption, meaning only the communicating users can read the messages.
Facebook said in a statement to The Times: “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.”
It’s reassuring to hear, because, let’s Face(book) it – Zuckerberg has been hauled up in front of the US Senate within the last 12 months and questioned on that exact subject.
Head to Facebook and tell us how you feel in the comments section. Do you ‘like’ the sound of this development? Is it all about Twitter and Viber from now on? Or do we all meet back at MySpace and tell Tom we’re sorry we ever left?