You are in constant communication with your friends and family. The only problem? No one is using the same app. Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp – you have contacts spanning all three, and the resulting balancing action to stay in touch can be overwhelming. That's why Facebook – which owns all three apps – comes out with a way to call and notify friends over all three platforms from one place.
Facebook announced the function at its annual F8 conference on April 30, 2019. Unfortunately, the company did not give us many details during the event, not even a timeline. All we know is that there is a platform messaging system in the work over to Facebook Inc. Meanwhile, we have some questions about how everything will work.
first Will cross-messages be in all apps or just Messenger?
We know from Facebook's message that Messenger users can chat with not only their Facebook friends but also their friends on Instagram and WhatsApp. But will WhatsApp users be able to notify Facebook and Instagram users instantly, and will Instagram users be able to notify Facebook and WhatsApp users instantly?
If you use Instagram or WhatsApp, a Messenger friend can notify you in your app from Messenger, and you can notify them directly. But the question is whether you can start a message with them or someone else on Instagram from WhatsApp.
With Facebook's goal of "interoperability", it is probably the answer to all these issues. 1
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2. Need to bind Messenger to Instagram & WhatsApp?
While it's amazing news that Messenger soon allows you to chat with Instagram and WhatsApp friends, we don't know what that means when it comes to account connectivity. Will Messenger allow you to import contacts from Instagram and WhatsApp, or will you simply need to connect all three accounts and share contacts?
It is safe to assume a large number of people will not mind linking their Instagram account to their Messenger / Facebook account if those accounts are not already bound. But some may prefer to keep their accounts separate, and they may see this opposite as somewhat contradictory given that Facebook has renewed "interest" to improve the integrity and security of its platforms.
There is no word yet on how it should work, so sit tightly until more details come out.
3. How will the transmitter differentiate users from different apps?
Keep this in mind – if you have a friend you only know via Instagram or WhatsApp, the message on Messenger should be simple. You should be able to find them and post them a message without any problem. But what if you have friends over all these apps? How will Messenger help keep things organized, so you're not confused which platform the message will initially target?
If one of your contacts has a Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp account, do you really need to choose which account to send the message to? As discussed in the previous section, Facebook may decide to link all accounts with a contact profile, so when you send a message to a contact, you do not have to worry about choosing between the three apps – you choose your contact and it would synchronize with everyone three of their apps.
In an interview with Business Insider with Stan Chudnovsky, head of Messenger, it sounds like every app will be separated and not under a messenger account.
Right now, in the Android Messenger app, if it is also used for text and multimedia texts, there will be an SMS icon on the profile picture for texts to separate. In conversations, Facebook chats are in blue while SMS chats are in purple. It will probably be so if Facebook unites all three online platforms under the Messenger umbrella. If not, you can see Instagram and WhatsApp icons here instead of just SMS icons, it can be a switch to filter to only one apps contacts and chats can be colored differently.
It's hard to say what happens if you consider how tight-lipped the project has been during the months.
So how will it be sent in chat with all three apps? Will Facebook join the 10-minute limit, or will it honor Instagram for everyone for free? In the interview mentioned above with Chudnovsky, he stated that none of the Messenger chat features would appear in Instagram's direct messages or WhatsApp chats. At least, not in the beginning. It may therefore happen that this page sends you messages, but it went before each app, no matter who is on the receiving end.
5. How will encryption work?
Facebook wants people to trust them more, why they invested in end-to-end encryption in their F8 presentation. Currently, WhatsApp is the only program for the gang to offer E2E encryption by default. Messenger has encrypted messaging, but you need to activate a secret conversation for it to work.
In contrast, Instagram has no encryption at the moment. Will Facebook add this feature to the app so that all three can participate in private messages? Or will you have to give up this privacy privilege when you choose to chat with an Instagram user in Messenger?
To get back to the Chudnovsky interview, he said that encryption will not be an option for users, and Business Insider says both Facebook and Instagram will both be upgraded to pure end-to-end encryption. So we know so much at least.
But Chudnovsky also addresses the issue of encryption between apps and insinuates that if a person's app in the chat is not yet updated to support encryption but the other is, it will go unencrypted. Messenger tries to list all this, it seems so it is likely that there will be some protection in place to know when you are and cannot send encrypted messages based on the person's app and their app version. It is possible that it could force users to update, which is already a common thing for developers to do.
6th How come three different applications together exactly?
That in itself is not a problem, but these differences can make threads between the programs very difficult. What happens if you respond to an Instagram or WhatsApp message in Messenger? Will Facebook add the feature to these apps, or users will get a message that "Jake" laughed at your message, "similar to how iOS handles responses with SMS vs. iMessage. How about games? Will game invitations sent from Messenger result in a confirmed error? Or will Facebook get that feature to Instagram and WhatsApp?
A simple solution is to reduce the features of chats sent between different apps. Perhaps when you start a thread in Messenger with a user on Instagram or WhatsApp, you see a much easier interface to ensure equal message on all platforms.
Better yet, Facebook could finally create a new messaging system for everyone three apps so that if you are on Messenger, Instagram or WhatsApp, your threads look like – or at least work – exactly But we already know that the last opportunity would be long gone, since Chudnovsky already stated that the core features of each messaging service will be the same at first.
7th Which services will be interoperable first?
In the Chudnovsky interview, he says that Messenger and Instagram can be connected first, and then when it releases, WhatsApp will be included afterwards, but it is not definitely.
"We would probably try to make it possible to move from Messenger to Instagram and back first and then send to WhatsApp others, but we haven't decided," Chudnovsky said.
What do you hope to see from this Facebook chat integration? Let us know in the comments below.
Cover image and screenshots of Jake Peterson / Gadget Hacks