Users of Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp will be able to send and receive messages with each other at some point in the future, according to a report in The New York Times. While no timescales have been confirmed, the work is underway at an underlying infrastructure level.

According to the report, all three services will support end-to-end encryption, which is something that made WhatsApp popular among messages. All three apps will continue to work independently, too, with all apps remaining available. The difference will be that people can chat together no matter the app they’re using.

“We want to build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private,” a Facebook spokesperson 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. 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.”

Facebook’s motivation here will be to increase engagement across all platforms, something that always looks good to potential investors and advertising partners. Users, particularly of WhatsApp, are likely to be less impressed with the move.

Facebook already has more social media users than any other platform, and by combining its messaging services, it will be turning the single entity into a huge competitor for the likes of iMessage.

Those concerned about what this means for privacy may want to start looking at alternatives to WhatsApp, such as Signal and Telegram, despite the news that end-to-end encryption will remain.

(Source: New York Times)

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