Facebook is working on a project that will allow cross-messaging between their messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.
That is according to a report from the New York Times, which states that all three services will continue to operate as standalone apps. However, Facebook is aiming to rebuild the underlying infrastructure so that users who only subscribe to one of their properties could still communicate with others under the company's umbrella.
The company hasn't indicated when they plan on having this change take effect but they have assured users that all of the apps will support end-to-end encryption.
“We want to build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private.” a Facebook spokesperson said: “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.”
"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 will work,” the company added in a statement.
The development did not come without some backlash, with Marc Rotenberg, president and executive director the Electronic Privacy Information Center' claiming that the change would be “a terrible outcome for internet users.”
He also asked that the Federal Trade Commission “act now to protect privacy and to preserve competition.”
California Democrat Ro Khanna also blasted the change on the grounds of anti-trust issues.
BREAKING: Facebook may integrate Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp chat services. pic.twitter.com/02gdSfHMjU— Digital Trends (@DigitalTrends) January 25, 2019
“This is why there should have been far more scrutiny during Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, which now clearly seem like horizontal mergers that should have triggered antitrust scrutiny,” he said in a tweet. “Imagine how different the world would be if Facebook had to compete with Instagram and WhatsApp.”
This bit of news should leave the opinions of the wider public split. Even persons who have all three apps could have a problem with this as it could provide other users, whom they probably wouldn't want texting them otherwise, access to an unwanted conversation.
There will probably be a way to restrict persons from contacting other persons however they feel like. But we won't know until additional information is provided.