The decision came out of the blue with absolutely no indications beyond the high-profile exit of the founders of both Instagram and WhatsApp from Facebook in recent months. With this setup, the three apps would remain as separate downloads, but they would essentially be three different portals to a single underlying service. Currently, only WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption and Messenger offers the highest standard of security for chats on demand. However whereas Facebook Messenger and Instagram store users' messages, WhatsApp does not.
The integration plan, in fact, is quite the opposite of what Zuckerberg promised these apps during the acquisition, which was a lot more autonomy.
Integrating the messaging services could make it harder for antitrust regulators to break up Facebook by undoing its acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram, said Sam Weinstein, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
"We did not anticipate all of the risks from connecting so many people", Sandberg said on Wednesday. Instagram's founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, abruptly left Facebook last fall after Zuckerberg began weighing in more. By stitching the infrastructure together, Facebook can increase the utility of the social network by keeping users highly engaged within its ecosystem, giving them fewer reasons to turn to rival services. At the one extreme, there's WhatsApp's simple request for a phone number. While Facebook reportedly meant to allow its acquisitions to keep more autonomy at first, Zuckerberg reportedly became highly interested in this integration beginning at the end of previous year.
WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, who left the company past year to start a foundation, urged people to delete their Facebook accounts in March 2018 over privacy concerns and gave an push to the #DeleteFacebook movement.
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The leading social network is behind free, stand-alone smartphone apps Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.
For Facebook, the changes provide a better chance at making money from Instagram and WhatsApp, which now generate little revenue even though they have vast numbers of users.
Potential Concerns. For a company that has taken as much heat as Facebook in terms of how it manages user data, Zuckerberg's plan to integrate the three apps looks overly problematic at first glance.
Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at research firm eMarketer, said data would likely be shared between the apps as a result of the move. Eventually, that could lead to new ad opportunities or services for profit, said one of the people.