Early signs suggest that Facebook Messenger may be gearing up to allow cross-chat support with WhatsApp as reported by WABetainfo. Last year Mark Zuckerberg planned to merge Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram into one unique service.
This looks to be the start of that plan. However, there are a lot of concerns around guarantees of safety and privacy. Little information is available right now but users may be able to block the merger.
Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to become compatible
It is worth pointing out that this feature is most certainly not available yet. It also probably will not be around for some time. This is because developing this type of functionality will take a significant period of time and is very complex.
Currently, Instagram is working to promote Facebook Messenger on its app. It recommends users download the messenger app, potentially pushing for integration.
This is not an actual integration of the two apps as such. However, it is definitely a warning sign of things that could follow soon. This is where the possibility of two users communicating despite using different apps sprung from.
Tipsters have found some important tracks that do hint at this integration. For example, Facebook is creating some tables in a local database. This would allow them to manage messages and services with WhatsApp users.
Concerns around privacy and security
This move has rightly sparked some concerns about privacy and security. Especially given Facebook's record with users' data in the past. Such problems have forced the company to fight back against an advertiser boycott during July.
Currently, nothing is changing about how Facebook and WhatsApp collect your data. This local database is just to contain future messages between the two apps.
There is quite a dearth of information on quite how this merger will work in terms of data security. For example, nobody knows if users will be able to individually disable this functionally. The chances are WhatsApp users may have to give their consent to be found on Instagram or Facebook.
Additionally, we do not know but there is a chance Facebook may upload data to their server in order to save it for other devices. The chances are this will not destroy the privacy of WhatsApp as messages will continue to be end-to-end encrypted.
This is further strengthened by the fact that the company is currently working on keeping this encryption even when chat history is uploaded to the cloud. However, the factually correct answer to the majority of questions on this subject is that we do not know.
We will have to wait a while until Facebook provides us will all the answers. However, hopefully, the company will keep our privacy and security at the forefront of its plans.