- Facebook announced Wednesday it’s integrating its Messenger chat with Instagram direct messages, pushing it toward its goal of a unified messaging system.
- Facebook first announced its plan to integrate Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp functions last January.
- The move to bring the sister companies together could raise antitrust concerns over its messaging dominance.
Facebook announced Wednesday it’s integrating Messenger chat with Instagram direct messages, pushing it toward its goal of a unified messaging system across its three messaging apps.
Facebook users can now message Instagram users without needing to download a new app, and vice versa, although they can also opt out of the feature.
The move is part of Zuckerberg’s plan to pivot Facebook towards private communication, as opposed to the open broadcasting by users in the News Feed. The ultimate goal, according to Zuckerberg, is to integrate the messaging services in Instagram, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
“I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever,” Zuckerberg said last March.
Wednesday’s announcement is Zuckerberg’s latest move to exert control over all three apps, which were originally intended to operate independently under the Facebook umbrella. Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, and it bought WhatsApp in a $16 billion deal in 2014.
The founders of Instagram and WhatsApp have all quit the company since then — giving up hundreds of millions of dollars — and Zuckerberg has since installed loyalists in their place. WhatsApp founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum left over disagreements that included Facebook’s plans to integrate advertising and other monetization methods. Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike