Facebook is merging WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger into one

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The CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg said he is trying to get its messaging apps to be friends, allowing encrypted missives be exchanged no matter which of its services are used.

The leading social network is behind free, stand-alone smartphone apps Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.

Each service is popular, but users have to be in the same application to exchange to connect.

“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,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in reply to an AFP inquiry regarding a New York Times report about the effort.

“As you would expect, there is a lot of discussion and debate as we begin the long process of figuring out all the details of how this will work.”

Facebook hoped to get the messaging apps communicating with one another, while remaining separate services, by the end of this year or early next year, according to the Times report.

Each of the Facebook-owned messaging services boasts more than a billion users. End-to-end encryption would mean messages exchanged between the services would be scrambled to hide contents from snooping.

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