The New York Times reports that Facebook wants to combine messaging services in all applications and bring together chats from WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger. A WhatsApp user could start a chat with an Instagram user and overcome barriers between Facebook social platforms.
A messenger user can send an encrypted end-to-end conversation with someone who has only a WhatsApp account, for example. Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp remain separate apps on the home screen, but the general messaging features are unified.
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. Facebook appears to approve the report in a statement to the New York Times
The move would be a strategic shift in Facebook activity as Instagram and WhatsApp have been developed largely independently of the core of Facebook.
According to the report, some Instagram and WhatsApp employees are dissatisfied with Facebook's change in direction, which seems to be led by CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The co-founders of Instagram had left already last year, which was probably a reaction to other parts of Facebook that wanted to exercise more control over the Instagram product.
To alleviate concerns, Mr. Zuckerberg called for a follow-up meeting with WhatsApp staff later in the week, three of the people said. On December 7, employees at WhatsApp offices gathered around microphones to ask Mr. Zuckerberg why he had invested in merging the services. Some said his answers were vague and meandering. WhatsApp's employees have gone because of Mr Zuckerberg's plans or intend to leave the country.
WhatsApp employees seem particularly annoyed with the plans. Strong privacy and encryption are central to the WhatsApp product offering, and employees are apparently concerned that these principles are ignored in order to implement the great standardization of Facebook messaging services Facebook. This poses a challenge to the interconnection of services. It is not immediately clear how the integration could be achieved without compromising the values of WhatsApp and Instagram.
The New York Times says development is progressing with a launch scheduled for 2020.