Mark Zuckerberg has ordered that the messaging services of WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook be integrated. The three applications will continue to work independently, but a Facebook user can send a message to another WhatsApp that does not have a Facebook account.
The news has created discomfort in the company, according to the New York Times, which has been the first means of revealing Zuckerberg's intentions. The integration effort will require the work of thousands of employees of the company and will not be available until the end of this year or the beginning of 2020.
The goal of Facebook with integration is not clear for now. In a Facebook statement to the NYT, the company says it wants to "build the best messaging experience and people want messages to go fast and be simple, safe and private." Facebook will include encryption in messages between the three applications. Today only WhatsApp has it.
These integration wishes could be the main reason for Zuckerberg's confrontation with Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, who left the company last summer. Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 and promised independence. The co-founders of WhatsApp received the same promise, now completely abandoned.
The co-founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, left Facebook in April, eight months after the other founder, Brian Acton, did it. Acton supported with a tweet in March 2018 the campaign "#DeleteFacebook" for people to eliminate their account in the social network. According to him New York Times, Dozens of WhatsApp employees clashed with Zuckerberg during a meeting in December. Some of them have already left and others plan to do it shortly.
It is not clear how Facebook will manage some privacy issues. WhatsApp requires a phone number, while Facebook asks for the real identity. Facebook has not wanted to give more details: "There is a lot of discussion and debate to start this long process of imagining all the details of how this will work," the company explained.
The monetization opportunities are multiplied for two applications that until now measured their success especially in the number of active users: 1,500 million in WhatsApp and 1,000 million in Instagram. Not only directly with some type of announcements, but also to integrate all the users in a superposition of messages, as already happens with the Chinese WeChat.
"It was a matter of time," says Angel Cuevas, a professor at the Carlos III University and author of several scientific articles on WhatsApp. "In the medium term I think Facebook will end up advertising on WhatsApp."