Facebook is drawing nearer to consolidating its three messaging platforms Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, according to a speech (however long) from CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The objective of the plan which could be implemented in yearly phases is to improve Facebook’s privacy outlook for which it has drawn the anger of the public (government and individuals alike) in the past two years especially culminating in government hearings and decision by some to even go as far deleting their Facebook accounts, take Elon Musk for example.
It’s been nearly three months since we first got a hint of the plan by Facebook to unify its three main messaging platforms but now Mr. Zuckerberg is giving us a feel of what we may expect. Under the new plan, the three services will remain distinct only you can now chat with other users on any of the platforms without exiting whichever one you may be using.
In a few years, I expect future versions of Messenger and WhatsApp to become the main ways people communicate on the Facebook network. We’re focused on making both of these apps faster, simpler, more private and more secure, including with end-to-end encryption. We then plan to add more ways to interact privately with your friends, groups, and businesses. If this evolution is successful, interacting with your friends and family across the Facebook network will become a fundamentally more private experience.
To execute the new plan which is in its beginning times, Facebook is meeting with stakeholders like privacy advocates, law enforcement and even government regulators from around the world.
But it’s not all about privacy, the move creates a chance for individuals who sell stuff using Facebook’s Marketplace to message potential buyers safely. It additionally opens up the likelihood of sending payments (which is already been done in Messenger in some places) to WhatsApp and Instagram.
“Lots of people selling items on Marketplace list their phone number so people can message them about buying it. That’s not ideal, because you’re giving strangers your phone number. With interoperability, you’d be able to use WhatsApp to receive messages sent to your Facebook account without sharing your phone number.”
One other feature that the new Facebook plan offers additionally is automatic expiration or archiving of your posts so no one uses it against you in future.
For instance, messages could be erased following a month or a year of course, and there could be possibilities for you to set individual messages to terminate following a couple of minutes in the event that wanted to.
On encryption, Mark Zuckerberg says in spite of genuine concerns from law enforcement about the potential use of end to end encryption by some to perpetrate crimes, he believes it’s still the right thing to do. On balance, “I believe working towards implementing end-to-end encryption for all private communications is the right thing to said Zuckerberg. We’ve started working on these safety systems building on the work we’ve done in WhatsApp, and we’ll discuss them with experts through 2019 and beyond before fully implementing end-to-end encryption.” This comes as the social media mammoth says it looks to have the security policy implemented fully across all its platforms to allow for a uniform security when you are chatting across platforms.
The broader conversation will continue over the years according to the Facebook CEO but some privacy advocates are already sceptical about the prospects. Dan Goldstein who a former attorney who serves as the president of the digital marketing agency Page 1 Solutions told USA Today that he’ll believe it when he sees it while others thinks it’s long overdue but will reserve comments also till they see it actually implemented.