Are Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram Going to Merge Soon?

The entire social media waters got a strong stir as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced of his plan about merging Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram into ‘single messaging service’ in next one or two years.

Definitely it’s going to be a watershed moment for all three platforms and for the users as well. 

But Facebook needs to figure out a lot, the amount of data to be shared between these platforms, as stated by Nick Clegg, the company’s global policy and communication chief. How will these platforms be budged together, stays a question even for Zuckerberg himself. “We’re really early in thinking through this,” he admits. 

It’s a Long Way, Anyway!

As reported by Zuckerberg, the merger process would entail to rewriting the basic software of all the three apps in heterogeneous network, so that they can become interoperable.   

This may sound simple but snap! It’s not a piece of cake. Of course, the entire melding process is going to face huge technical challenges and infinite questions-marks from law enforcement organizations and privacy researchers likewise.  

Tim Mackey, the technical evangelist at Synopsys states “Given the spotty history Facebook have in managing user privacy settings, merging personal information and privacy configurations from three significant applications won’t be trivial”. 

Apart from serious security concerns as expressed by Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, there’s lot churning inside curious minds.  “If Facebook is doing this so it can harvest even more our personal information for profit, it’s yet another reason to be concerned about how corporations are using our data. This is yet another reason to pass a strong privacy bill,” cites Wyden.  

Zuckerberg has his own piece of cake to show. 

The Perquisites of the Merger – Assurances from CEO’s Desk

The merger is sure to boost improved functionality that would allow the users to enjoy a quick jump from one platform to the other, assures the social media giant. 

Consistent End-to-End Encryption

Of all the three platforms, the end-to-end encryption is available only on WhatsApp. It needs to be activated on Messenger and is not there in Instagram at all.  

The CEO explains that the unification of all of them will benefit Messenger and Instagram users as well, for they will
be able to send end-to-end encrypted messages across these platforms too.  

Messaging Across the Apps

The app integration will also allow people to send messages between apps. Zuckerberg explains this using an example of countries where WhatsApp rules, the user will be able to message on Facebook Marketplace via WhatsApp instead of downloading the Messenger first and then messaging through it. Messaging will be a such a duck soup for them! 

But, how’s it a good news for Instagrammers? 

Better functionality and Security

The merger is planned in an attempt to provide ‘fast, simple and reliable’ messaging experience for the users, according to a Facebook spokesman. Hold on, is it really about users only? Everyone is awestruck! 

The Concerns, Confrontations

No matter, how far may Zuckerberg go sprinkling tutti-frutti on the cake, it still needs to bake enough for the genuine aroma.  

Matthew Green, a cryptography professor at Johns Hopkins University, recently tweeted about his serious concern regarding WhatsApp data getting insecure, as WhatsApp users switch to the platform for closed group chatting, which after the merger may become an exposed pie on Facebook!   

While some surmise it to be Zuckerberg’s effort for a better command over all of his empire. 

Owing to the declining reputation of Facebook for mining the user’s personal information, there has been a considerable decline in user engagement on Facebook. 

According to new survey data from the Pew Research Center (June 2018), about 42% of Facebook users have turned the keys down from daily engagements. In fact, 26% users reported to have simply effaced the app from their mobile screens. What a heartbreak!  

The merger plan is speculated to be a master stroke by Zuckerberg, to hook back all those Facebook users, as they sure might be using WhatsApp, Facebook or Instagram. People are still wondering about Facebook’s altruistic decisions, which has been a rare scene.

While Instagram and Whatsapp founders step back to ‘explore their curiosity and creativity again’ and take ‘time off the technology’ for some time, Zuck looks forward to take a deep leap into technological nitty-gritties, propounding the idea and facing strong oppositions. 

What’s in store for this plan, only time will tell! 

Staff Reporter
wpsecurity@tarikagroup.com

Tarika Personnel

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