Social media giant, Facebook, is merging its other platforms; WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, the technology giant has announced.
According to the company, the merger is intended to create “the best messaging experiences” for the users around the world, who use the Facebook-owned apps.
But each app will remain different from each other, though the underlying messaging infrastructure will be unified.
A spokesperson for Facebook said the merger will deliver a messaging platform that is “fast, simple, reliable and private”. However, data experts have warned that the plan could have an impact on people’s privacy
The spokesperson added: “We’re working on making more of our messaging products end-to-end encrypted and considering ways to make it easier to reach friends and family across networks.”
No official details have been made public yet, but the merger is expected to take place by early next year, according to The New York Times.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, had originally said both Instagram and WhatsApp would operate separately from the social network.
The company acquired the photo-sharing platform, Instagram, for approximately $1 billion in 2012, before taking over the messaging app, WhatsApp, in 2014 for an estimated $19.3 billion.
Since then, both apps have experienced rapid growth. Instagram has around 1 billion monthly active users, and Whatsapp with 1.5 billion users, although the original owners of the two apps have left Facebook.
Tim Mackey, a data privacy expert, who works at the software firm, Synopsys, said Facebook should take considerable care in the integration process.
“Merging personal information and privacy configurations from three significant applications won’t be trivial. Facebook development teams would do well to look at this precedent and prioritize user privacy,” he said.