Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, plans to integrate the social network’s messaging services — WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger — asserting his control over the company’s sprawling divisions at a time when its business has been battered by scandal.
The services will continue to operate as stand-alone apps, but their underlying technical infrastructure will be unified, said four people involved in the effort. That will bring together three of the world’s largest messaging networks, which between them have more than 2.6 billion users, allowing people to communicate across the platforms for the first time.
Before WhatsApp was owned by Facebook, I was quite glad my – and many other countries – had pretty much standardised on using WhatsApp as the nation’s messaging platform, instead of relying on platforms based on platform lock-in, such as iMessage.
These days, however, with WhatsApp being owned by Facebook and the company clearly looking at ways to profit off even end-to-end encrypted messaging platforms, I’m quite furstrated by the fact that I have nowhere else to go. Trying to get literally all your friends and family to move to another platform is like stubbornly trying to get your friends to speak Swahili to you by trying to speak nothing but Swahili to them. It’s rude and will just make people not want to talk to you.
All I can hope for is an organic change in how we communicate with one another, or some EU intervention to wrestle control over vital messaging platforms from corporations. I’m not holding my breath for either.