The plan to link Facebook-owned messaging systems and make them inter-operable was confirmed Wednesday by the social network as a way to offer more secure, encrypted messages on all platforms.
The combined Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram messaging won’t happen for some time, though. “It’s still early days,” said Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg on an earnings call with analysts, but “it’s the direction we should be going with more things in the future.”
An example he gave for why he wanted to do this pointed to the Marketplace feature Facebook is growing to take on eBay, where links to buy are provided to Facebook’s Messenger app. That means that WhatsApp users have to leave WhatsApp and go to Messenger, and he thinks it would be easier to let them stay in one place.
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Facebook said that around 2.7 billion people now use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger each month and that Facebook itself has 1.52 billion average daily users.
Despite the many security breaches and hacks of 2018 that caused Facebook to apologize many times, the woes did not negatively impact the bottom line.
Facebook reported $16.9 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter, up 30 percent from the year ago quarter, and $55.8 billion in revenue for 2018, up 37 percent from 2017’s $40.6 billion.
Also on Wednesday, rival Apple revoked Facebook’s access to creating enterprise apps, in response to reports that the social network skirted Apple’s rules to get a data-collecting app to consumers.
“Apple’s response to Facebook was the shot heard round the world, signaling the official start to the Data Privacy War,” said Shane Green, CEO of Data privacy app digi.me.
In the call with analysts, no questions were asked about the Apple/Facebook flareup.
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