FACEBOOK, Instagram and WhatsApp are going to merge – with a deadline of early 2020.
The buddy-up involves “thousands of Facebook employees” re-designing all three apps “at their most basic levels”.
Facebook, along with Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Instagram, will still exist as standalone apps.
But messaging functionality would be shared across them, so users on Instagram could text people on WhatsApp.
You could even message someone on Instagram without ever actually having an Instagram account.
The move was revealed in a New York Times exposé, and later confirmed by Facebook.
It’s expected that the “integration” between the apps will be completed as soon as the end of 2019, or possibly early 2020.
Work on the project is already underway to unify the “messaging infrastructure” between the apps.
It means that all three apps will support end-to-end encryption, which Instagram currently lacks.
End-to-end encryption means your message is garbled into gibberish during transit, and can only be read in its true form by the sender and recipient.
It’s an important privacy feature, and already one of the defining features of WhatsApp.
More to follow…