According to a report from The New York Times, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is planning to brings all three messaging apps they own under one roof. One of the main reasons why this master plan seems to be considered is because Zuckerberg wants to have more control over everything in light of all the privacy scandals and negativity from both consumers and lawmakers alike.
Thousands of Facebook workers are now working on the reconstruction process, and the update is expected to arrive sometime end of this year, or possibly even early 2020, per sources familiar with the matter that spoke with Times. Zuckerberg doesn’t have an opposition internally to get in the way of what he wants because founders of both WhatsApp and Instagram have departed already.
In this process, Facebook is reportedly planning to add end-to-end encryption across all three platforms. Currently, this feature has been limited to WhatsApp and optionally available on the Messenger app.
Facebook has faced a lot of criticism on how it’s handled privacy over the years. With criticism from the likes of Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has been calling for industry-wide regulations on privacy matters, Zuckerberg has felt the pressure consistently to do something about all the scandals he and Facebook have faced.
NYT‘s Mike Isaac writes, “After the changes take effect, a Facebook user could send an encrypted message to someone who has only a WhatsApp account, for example. Currently that isn’t possible because the apps are separate.” Basically, sources close to the matter insist the three apps will remain as stand-alone, but underlying infrastructure will be shared.
In a statement to Times, Facebook 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.”
Aside from taking care of issues and scandals that Facebook has faced over the years, by using a shared underlying infrastructure, this would allow the social media giant to simply how the company works. For example, there would not be a need to create competing erosions of new features across all three platforms, such as Stories. Thus far, all three apps have added the feature but have seen mixed and inconsistent results. Another example is cross-platform messaging opportunity. This may very well allow businesses to message potential customers on another platform, thus increasing their potential reach when advertising on Facebook.
One of the biggest factors that Facebook sees is sharing data across all three platforms, and this is something that many see as an issue. While this could possibly be a concern, Facebook will have a more tighter control over all services it offers. With such treasures under its wing, this would make Facebook’s empire more difficult to break up or spin off, should governments and regulators come down on the giant.
“We want to build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simply, reliable and private,” Facebook said in a statement. “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,” the social giant added.