Facebook reportedly plans to merge WhatsApp, Instagram & Messenger chats

is working to allow cross-messaging between , , and , according to a report in The Tech News this morning.

Each service will continue to operate as a standalone app, but according to the Times, Facebook is rebuilding the underlying infrastructure so that people who might use only one of Facebook’s properties could communicate with others within the company’s ecosystem. Reportedly, all of the apps will support end-to-end encryption as well. Facebook has yet to provide a timeline for when this will happen.

By allowing these messaging apps to speak to one another across platforms, Facebook is no doubt hoping that it will keep its users more engaged and get them to use this merged system as their primary messaging service. By doing so, the company could also tout higher user engagement to advertisers, bumping up its advertising arm at a time when growth has slowed down.

Facebook has the most users of any other social media platform, and by combining its assets this way, the company could more directly compete with Apple’s iMessage and Google’s messaging services.

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