The separation between Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram are about to get even blurrier.
Speaking during the company’s quarterly earnings call, Zuckerberg confirmed that Facebook wants to make it easier to send messages across its apps, but cautioned that it would be a ” 2020 thing or beyond.”
The CEO explained why the company wants to merge the apps’ underlying infrastructure.”The first reason he stated is moving more to end to end encryption by default in products. People like this in WhatsApp. He acknowledges that is the direction they would be going in. There’s an opportunity to have encryption work in a consistent way across the apps we’re operating, he stated.”
Zuckerberg also noted that there would be practical benefits to allowing people to send messages between apps. In countries where WhatsApp is dominant, for example, being able to message a Facebook Marketplace seller via WhatsApp instead of Messenger might be more convenient. He also said the “tens of millions” Android users who currently use Messenger as their default SMS app would benefit from having encryption enabled as a default.
The CEO didn’t share any thoughts on how such a plan would benefit Instagram.
News of Facebook’s plan to merge the back-end infrastructure behind all its messaging apps has raised a number of questions about privacy. It’s also just the latest sign that Zuckerberg is tightening his control over the services, which he and initially promised independence from Facebook, as Facebook depends on Instagram and WhatsApp more for future growth.