Facebook plans to merge WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger apps

Now we know why WhatsApp’s founders quit, and it’s not good news!

End-to-end encryption means that your message is garbled into gibberish during transit, and can only be read in its true form by the sender and recipient.

Maybe, if today's huge news revealed by The New York Times - about the company's ambition via a directive from Mark Zuckerberg to integrate all of its messaging services - is any indication. With this setup, the three apps would remain as separate downloads, but they would essentially be three different portals to a single underlying service.

That's right, Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp will become one through a "long process" of integration, Facebook said in a statement to the BBC. While each app will still exist, you'll be able to send messages from Messenger to WhatsApp users who don't have a Facebook account.

So, for example, a Facebook user could send a message to a WhatsApp-only user using Messenger, something which is now impossible.

Analysis In an unprecedented decision that has left tech observers struggling to contain their shock, Facebook has chose to create a common software architecture for its three main apps: Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

When Zuckerberg says "operating our services", he also means running his business.

Commenting on the decision, Facebook declared it wanted to "build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private".

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By effectively joining all its users into one massive group Facebook could compete more effectively with Google's messaging services and Apple's iMessage, suggested Makena Kelly on tech news site The Verge.

Some former Facebook security engineers and an outside encryption expert said the plan could be good news for user privacy, in particular by extending end-to-end encryption.

Instagram's founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger abandoned the company late a year ago, reportedly due to Zuckerberg's increased grip on the app.

But messaging functionality would be shared across them, so users on Instagram could text people on WhatsApp.

While the unified messaging platform has not been cited as the primary reason for their departure, both the founders of Instagram and WhatsApp have all left Facebook.

The merger is the brainchild of Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, the New York Times reported.

But Weinstein said breaking up Facebook is viewed as an "extreme remedy" by regulators, particularly in the United States, so concerns over antitrust scrutiny may not have been a factor behind the integration. By contrast, Facebook and Facebook Messenger ask users to provide their real identities.

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