Facebook to integrate Instagram, WhatsApp Messenger In a Single Platform

After a series of scandal faced by Facebook, for the first time, it gets integrated. As Mark Zuckerberg plans to merge Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Why this move?

Due to recent accusations based on fake news, privacy issues and political scandals Facebook’s growth is slowing down. Keeping this in mind Mark Zuckerberg co-founder of Facebook has decided to merge three social messaging apps – Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Not only this by merging these apps, but Zuckerberg also hopes to compete with Google and Apple.

What media and people have to say about this integration?

“Facebook has the most users of any other social media platform, and by combining its assets this way, the company could more directly compete with Apple’s iMessage and Google’s messaging services”, according to The Verge. 

“Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, plans to integrate the social network’s messaging services — WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger — asserting his control over the company’s sprawling divisions at a time when its business has been battered by scandal,” the Times said.

“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,” a spokesperson said. After the changes, a Facebook user, for instance, will be able to send an encrypted message to someone who has only a WhatsApp account, according to the New York Times report.

“My fear was that they were going to drop end-to-end encryption,” former Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, who teaches at Stanford University was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Marc Rotenberg, president, and executive director the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said on Friday that the change would be “a terrible outcome for internet users.” He urged the Federal Trade Commission, America’s de facto privacy regulator, to “act now to protect privacy and to preserve competition.”

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Will this integration provide security?

Reports say Facebook is working on adding end-to-end encryption, to protect messages from being viewed by anyone except the intended recipient and sender.

Will this integration weaken user data privacy and security?

End-to-end encryption doesn’t always allow to conceal metadata, this means data might be shared. And any metadata integration will allow Facebook to know more about users, leading to know identifiers such phone number and email addresses. Due to this, Facebook-driven by advertisement model can charge advertisers and targeted services more to share user data.

Also, the risk of stalking, child grooming will be increased as Facebook Messenger allows strangers to contact people without even knowing their phone number. While WhatsApp is required a phone number thus allowing additional security to track somebody using location information.

This conflict will eventually raise concerns about user’s data.

Can the services be used as standalone even after integration?

The three services will continue to operate as stand-alone apps, but their primary infrastructure will be combined.

When will the plan come into effect?

Currently, the plan is in its early phase and is expected to be completed by end of 2019 or early 2020.

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