Social media plays a major role in everyday life. After all, who does not use Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook? They are now the backbone of society.
But did you know, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive is planning to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram’s direct message function and Facebook Messenger? That’s right, Zuckerberg is yet again set to change the way we use social networking.
Initially, the three apps have not only targeted different
However, as of late, certain functions are appearing in all three of the social networking mediums. For example, the Instagram and Facebook stories, as well as the equivalent WhatsApp status. Despite this, the underlying structure of the apps has always remained different.
This is now set to change by the end of the year and the beginning of 2020. While Zuckerberg says the three apps will continue to be standalone and separate entities, their technical infrastructure will be the same.
What does this mean for users?
One of the joys of the change, means that users will be able to message each other from any of the three apps, without having to switch platforms. That’s rather neat, if you think about it.
The move will require that every communication will be end-to-end encrypted, visible only to the users and no-one else. Something which WhatsApp provides as a default option. Facebook messenger allows encryption in secret conversations, which can be accessed from the app, but it is not the default. Instagram does not have anything like it at all. Which means this is good news in terms of privacy, if it is done properly. Given Facebook’s track record, users have the right to be a tad bit sceptical.
Then there is the matter of the different registration requirements when it comes to the different apps. For Instagram, you will need your email address, while you require your phone number for WhatsApp and your Facebook identity for Facebook messenger.
There is also the matter of different registration requirements when it comes to different apps. You need your Facebook identity for messenger, an email for Instagram, and your phone number for WhatsApp.
With this in mind, there is some concern about how the metadata from future interactions between users across the respective platforms will be used by Facebook. Concerns which might see some people opting out, as they do not want their identities across the different platforms unified.
At this stage, there is no assurance as to what guarantees will be put in place to address these concerns.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you think this is merely the evolution of social media, unifying people one message at a time? Or do you think this is the first step on closing in on our privacy? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.