Facebook wants to allow cross-messaging between Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, according to a report in The New York Times this morning.
Each service will continue to function as a standalone app, but according to the Times, Facebook is rebuilding the underlying infrastructure so people who can only use one of Facebook’s properties can communicate with others within the company’s ecosystem. Reported, all programs will support end-to-end encryption. Facebook does not have a timeline for when it will happen.
By allowing these messaging programs to talk to each other about platforms, Facebook hopes that it will keep its users engaged and use them to use this merged system as their primary messaging service. In doing so, the company can also add greater user engagement to advertisers, and stomp its advertising arm at a time when growth slowed.
Facebook has the most users of any other social media platform, and by combining its assets this way, the company can compete more directly with Apple’s iMessage and Google’s messaging service.