Zuckerberg has decided an epoch-making change in Facebook’s strategy, but the apps should still remain separate.
It could be one of the most important news in the fifteen years of Facebook history: the messaging services of Whatsapp, Instagram and Messenger will be unified. The decision was made directly by the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, who would announce it to his collaborators last December 7th.
The effects of the decision should not be too obvious, at least not at first sight, because the three apps will still be usable separately, but the implications will still be significant for users. Since the unification of the three messaging services will be implemented, it will be possible, hypothetically, to have a conversation via WhatsApp with a user who only has a Facebook account, and the whole would still be encrypted end-to-end, ie through the security system of our data used by WhatsApp starting in 2016, but also Telegram, Viber, Line and many other instant messaging apps.
The goal of the unification operation would be to increase the usability of all the chats of the various apps controlled by Facebook. According to the company of Mark Zuckerberg this will create a faster, safer and more reliable platform.
The Facebook spokespersons also say that we are working on extending end-to-end encryption to all instant messaging platforms controlled by the social network, and this should at least partially reassure users about the issue of privacy and data dissemination of billions of users.
Instagram was acquired by Facebook for about a billion dollars in 2012, only two years later there was the acquisition of WhatsApp, for 19 billion dollars. Both apps have proven to be good investments: they have grown and today they account for one billion and one and a half billion users, respectively.
There are no official confirmations, but according to reports from the New York Times the merger of the platforms will take place early next year. Of course, already in these days, there will be consequences from the business and financial point of view: those who believed that the app would continue to operate independently will have to change their minds and even the markets will say they respect an ambitious operation , but which shows a certain optimism for the future.
The point that will be discussed most, the most painful of the whole operation, as was predictable, will be privacy, and the problem will mainly affect the WhatsApp users. Today, in fact, to have an account on the messaging and telephony app, you do not need any personal data, you are not obliged to provide your name and surname, for example. With the union of platforms this could probably change, as more stringent rules could force users to provide data that until now had not made available to the social network. And the topic of privacy would have been the one at the center of some bad mood born among those who work at WhatsApp.