Social media giant Facebook is reportedly planning to allow cross-platform messaging between its Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp apps. While each platform will continue to operate as standalone app, the underlying infrastructure will allow users to communicate between the ecosystem.

According to The New York Times, chats across all three apps will be end-to-end encrypted, but Facebook is yet to offer a timeline when the integration will happen. By allowing users to communicate with one another across platforms, Facebook may be looking to keep more users engaged and get the merged system as their primary messaging service.

“We want to build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private,” said Facebook in a statement to NYT. “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,” it added.

The move makes sense too as not everyone on WhatsApp, has the other two apps installed. There may be a case where a user is on Facebook and WhatsApp, but doesn’t have Messenger installed. By merging chats on all three apps, it will, say, give WhatsApp users an opportunity to communicate with other users who are on Instagram or Messenger, but not on WhatsApp.

Secondly, the move will also help Facebook to show higher under engagement to advertisers, thus help its advertising arm grow. Facebook has a big share of users on its social media platform, and with this integration, it will compete with Apple’s iMessage and Google’s messaging service.

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