NEWS28 January 2019

Facebook plans to integrate WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram

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US – Facebook is looking to integrate its three messaging services, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger.

Instagram and Twitter on phone screen

According to news first reported by the New York Times, the services will continue to function as standalone apps but will have one underlying infrastructure.

Once the three services have been merged, users will be able to communicate across the platforms, which has not been possible previously.

Facebook acquired Instagram for $1bn in 2012 and WhatsApp for $19bn in 2014. 

At a time when Facebook’s data handling policies are under scrutiny from regulators, the move prompts privacy questions over how users’ personal data is shared across the three platforms.

A Facebook spokesperson said: "We want to build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private. 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 company is at the beginning of a "long process" of establishing the details of the plan, the spokesperson added, with "a lot of discussion and debate" about how the system will work.