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Facebook wants to merge Messenger with WhatsApp and Instagram

Facebook said that it would make connecting easier for users, while critics said that it was a way of circumventing regulations.

Image: Shutterstock/AlexandraPopova

FACEBOOK SAID IT is trying to connect its messaging apps, allowing encrypted missives be exchanged no matter which of its services are used.

The leading social network is behind free, stand-alone smartphone apps Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp – and now it wants to merge them.

“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,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in reply to an AFP inquiry regarding a New York Times report about the effort.

End-to-end encryption would mean messages exchanged between the services would be coded to hide contents from snooping.

“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.”

Facebook hopes to get the messaging apps communicating with one another, while remaining separate services, by the end of this year or early next year according to the Times report.

But critics and commentators have speculated that this could be a way of circumventing regulations around sharing data between different platforms.

Each of the Facebook-owned messaging services has more than a billion users.

© AFP 2019

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