Well, we already know this would happen. Flashback to last year, Facebook’s Chief Executive, Mark Zuckerberg announced his initial plans of integrating platforms such as Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp as an upgrade by enabling end-to-end encryption for all messages sent between them.
And now it’s happening — starting with Facebook Messenger and Instagram’s Direct Messaging.
With the new upgrade, you can now send chats, photos, and videos between these two platforms as the Instagram Direct Messaging service has now been replaced by Facebook Messenger when you choose to update the app. For now, this is just a change in the icon as Instagram users are currently not able to message Facebook users via Instagram but will likely change soon as the merging progresses.
Facebook’s Adam Mosseri and Stan Chudnovsky, the heads of Instagram and Messenger respectively, shared in a statement that, “We’re connecting the Messenger and Instagram experience to bring some of the best Messenger features to Instagram.”
The executives highlighted from their research that for a lot of people in the US, using these apps to keep in touch with their friends and loved ones is important to them, yet some have difficulty remembering where to find certain conversation threads are at from these apps. Mosseri and Chudnovsky stressed out that, “With this update, it will be even easier to stay connected without thinking about which app to use to reach your friends and family. “
This is currently at a trial process as Instagram said that merging with Facebook Messenger is optional for now and users can opt to decline to get the update. But after this has been finalized, Facebook announced that the new features will be soon available globally.
Sticking to the initial plans, if the merge goes right, the next move would be to combine the two chat services with WhatsApp. However, this has continued to raise some concerns, especially coming from the WhatsApp employees. What made this app integration controversial could be related to data privacy since the messaging app has strong encryption.
Currently, to use WhatsApp, users are not required to provide any of their private info aside from their numbers which is a good call for private data protection. However, merging it with Facebook Messenger and Instagram DM could contradict WhatsApp’s operations as this could force their users to reveal information when they want to keep theirs private.
There is no final timeline when the merging of the three messaging apps will happen as the integration. The decision to turn on end-to-end encryption for all conversations on the three platforms remains controversial as it would need more work on protecting the privacy of their users.
In a statement, Facebook said: “Facebook said in a statement: “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 [merger] will work.”
At this time, while Facebook is still determining how the cross-app communications will work with WhatsApp, it will continue its service as a separate messaging application. On the other hand, we’ll continue to see the development between Instagram DM and Facebook Messenger sharing features to create a more engaging messaging experience for its users.