Chief Executive Officer of Facebook Inc. Mark Zuckerberg plans to integrate chat tools into WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger services, a move that can help the social media giant to improve consumer advertising and strengthen its case against the breakup of regulators.
Zuckerberg's plans, previously reported by the New York Times, will include stitching the three messaging products behind-the-scenes applications, although users will still interact with each service individually. Facebook claims that this move will also improve consumer privacy by encryption to protect viewing messages from anyone other than the participants in the conversation.
"People want messages to be fast, simple, reliable and personal," says Facebook. "We're working on making more of our end-to-end messaging products and thinking about ways to make it easier for friends and family to access networks. As you would expect, there are many discussions and debates as we begin the long process of inventing all the details of how it will work.
This move is not something that more than 2 billion Facebook users want. Linking applications together can increase data sharing between properties by helping Facebook identify users in the platform and improve the ability to target ads to them.
WhatsApp currently allows a person to create an account with just a phone number while Instagram allows people to have multiple anonymous accounts without using their real names. Zuckerberg's vision focuses on a service based on true identity.
WhatsApp, which Facebook purchased in the year 2014 for $ 19 billion, and Instagram, purchased in 2012 for $ 715 million, operated relatively independently on Facebook as they became more important parts of the Facebook business. The tensions surrounding Zuckerberg's efforts to integrate and control led to the withdrawal of the founders of the two services over the last year, people who were familiar with the matter said. Last year, Zuckerberg began to call his portfolio "family applications".
Another potential argument for the stronger inclusion of the three units in parental flexibility is the threat of regulatory decay on Facebook. Progressive groups have been calling on the Federal Trade Commission for months to split Facebook and divide Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger into their own companies. This would be more difficult to achieve if services are more intertwined. At the same time, concern can be raised about consumer transparency as to how Facebook data collection works.