Zuckerberg wants to keep Facebook users inside the ecosystem which could mean bad news for rival messaging services like Apple and Google.
Two years back Facebook had to take back its decision of using WhatsApp data for advertising purposes after United Kingdom data protection authorities requested.
Zuckerberg has said that while the three apps will continue to be standalone and separate, their technical infrastructure will be the same. Once the unified chat system launches, you'll be able to message anyone on Facebook and Instagram without needing accounts on those social networks.
Sheryl Sandberg, Co-CEO of Facebook and one of the most powerful managers of the group, said a few days ago in an Interview with FAZ.NET, Facebook will use "information in a manner that protects the privacy of the people, thus driving people advertising reach, which could be interested in your products".
According to some ex Facebook security engineers and a third-party encryption expert, the plan could be a positive move in the direction of user privacy, especially if the end-to-end encryption happens.
One of the conditions for Facebook's multi-billion dollar take over of WhatsApp was that it was siloed from the main Facebook operation for data protection purposes, although it soon became clear that Facebook had a potential loophole. In response, Koum and Acton left the company.
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Experts believe the integration could enable Facebook to build a single user profile from its different apps for better targeting of potential clients for its advertisers. Facebook's intention of merging their messaging services has spurred concerns about privacy and calls for antitrust regulation.
Instagram and WhatsApp can be used anonymously, but Facebook requires you to use your real name.
According to the report from the New York Times, one point of concern arising from the merge would be if user data was to be shared between the different platforms. Right now, Facebook controls three of those eight social apps, in addition to WhatsApp.
It is becoming more hard for these companies to monetize their apps for advertising business, especially as more people are becoming increasingly aware of the need to protect their privacy.
What features will be available as part of cross-platform messaging?
The news of this change was first broken by the New York Times.