Facebook appears to be testing a new feature that merges Facebook Messenger with WhatsApp allowing users to chat across both apps.
The social network has previously stated it aims to bring Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram closer together.
And according to reliable WhatsApp-watcher WABetaInfo, the tech giant is currently testing out cross-platform chatting.
The update was hidden in the code of Facebook Messenger so WABetaInfo says it’s unclear when this merger of the apps would take place.
‘The integration of WhatsApp into Facebook Messenger isn’t available yet,’ the site explained.
But in the future, the closer integration of the apps would mean any user with a Facebook account could reach friends through WhatsApp without having to download the app.
According to the code found inside Messenger, Facebook is building a database inside the app that can store information from WhatsApp.
‘Facebook can understand if a WhatsApp contact is blocked, sounds of push notifications and the details of a chat,’ WABetaInfo said.
That includes particular information like the phone number of the contact, a message counter, and if the chat is archived. [It cannot understand a message’s] content, members of a specific group and profile pictures of the contact.’
It’s unclear at this stage whether a user (of either service) would be able to step in and actively block the cross-platform communication from happening.
WhatsApp is by far the largest messaging platform in the world with over two billion users.
The plan to bring the services together was first mentioned last year with boss Mark Zuckerberg regarding the integration as a personal project.
At the time it was suggested that all messages sent between the three apps will be encrypted so that only the sender and recipient can see them.
In a statement, Facebook said: ‘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.
‘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.’
The integration could spell big changes for users. Currently, WhatsApp only requires a phone number to set up an account, whereas Facebook requires people to use their real identity.
Source: Read Full Article