The last year, Zuckerberg said he was planned to merge Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in a unique service. So, if you have a Facebook account, you might be able to reach your friends having WhatsApp.
There wasn’t much information, for example the possibility for the user to block this “feature“, how this is possible and how the safety of the user is guaranteed, because there are a lot of concerns about this merge.
But, at the moment, do we already know something?
The integration of WhatsApp into Facebook Messenger isn’t available yet.
This is a very complicated feature and it requires so much time. We’ve no idea if the plan to merge those services will continue or if it will be abandoned and discarded.
At the moment, Instagram is working to recommend to download Facebook Messenger, as noted by the talented independent developer @Alex193a:
This is not really an integration of the Facebook service into Instagram, but recently @Alex193a has warned me about the integration of WhatsApp into Facebook Messenger, including several important tracks! In particular, we’re talking about the possibility to communicate with a user that uses a different Facebook app, in this case between two users having WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Some important refecences were found about this integration: in particular Facebook is creating some tables in a local database, in order to manage messages and services with other WhatsApp users:
Let’s understand this image together: following the references listed in this image, Facebook can understand if a WhatsApp contact is blocked, sounds of push notifications, the details of a chat (that includes particular information like the phone number of the contact, a message counter, if the chat is archived..) but not its content, members of a specific group and profile pictures of the contact.
Does it mean that Facebook is already collecting WhatsApp messages? NO. It’s a local database that will start to contain in future those messages. Being WhatsApp messages end-to-end encrypted, it’s likely that Facebook will import the Signal protocol to encrypt and decrypt messages, already used by WhatsApp.
Will I be able to disable all this? As I said, we haven’t so much information. Personally I suppose that any WhatsApp user should give the consent to be found on Instagram or Facebook, but for a correct answer we need to wait for Facebook. If you don’t trust Facebook and you’ve some concerns, this option might be useful for you.
Will all this destroy the privacy into WhatsApp? WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted and they will stay that way, and WhatsApp is also working to encrypt messages and media when you back up your chat history on iCloud (currently under development).
Privacy is one of their core principles that will always define the company and we count it will be always so.
Note: being under development, all these references might change or be destroyed. The plan to merge those services might also be abandoned, we’re just informing you how things are now.