Facebook has announced plans to integrate its messaging services on Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
While all three will remain stand-alone apps, at a much deeper level they will be linked so messages can travel between the different services.
The plan was first reported in the New York Times and is believed to be a personal project of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Once complete, the merger would mean that a Facebook user could communicate directly with someone who only has a WhatsApp account. This is currently impossible as the applications have no common core.
In a statement, Facebook said it wanted to “build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private.” It added: “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 work to merge the three elements has already begun reported the NYT, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 or early next year.
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