Social media giant Facebook has announced plans to integrate the messaging functions of Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. In an effort to give friends and family members the ability to communicate across networks, the three services will remain separate apps but allow for communication among them for the first time ever.
Facebook’s family of apps has over 2.5 billion monthly users and is a dominant player in mobile traffic. This move toward integration is an effort to sway users from moving to a rival messaging service. Facebook plans to have this new integration, which is currently in the early stages of planning, completed by early 2020. Additionally, the three apps involved will install end-to-end encryption to prohibit the viewing of messages by anyone other than those sending or receiving.
When Facebook originally acquired Instagram and WhatsApp, the plan was for the platforms to remain separate apps. However, the growth of Instagram and WhatsApp prompted Facebook to rethink the model and integrate messaging. The integration would allow Facebook to make money of Whatsapp, which currently generates little revenue. While Instagram does produce ad revenue, none of it comes from its messaging.
Another business opportunity would derive from Facebook Marketplace, a place to sell and advertise items and inventory on Facebook. By linking the app together, buyers and sellers will be able to communicate further via Whatsapp, potentially creating another revenue stream for the social media giant. This could have a bigger impact on markets outside of the U.S., especially in Southeast Asia and Latin America, where Whatsapp is more widespread.
To read more about these integration plans, click here.