Instructor: Chris Gilliard
Benefits of Merging Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram into One Unified App Since the introduction of the idea of merging the multiple apps into one, the concept has been an integral part of the application industry globally. Thus, currently many app developers are adopting this idea and concept because of the many benefits attached to this new practice. Specifically, Mark Zuckerberg has grabbed this strategic power by putting Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger onto a single unified technical infrastructure because of three benefits including the ability of integrated apps encrypted to safeguard users from hackers, protecting consumers from unfair business practices, and protecting messages from view by any person exempt the participants in the conversation. I believe the integration of Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger onto a unified technical infrastructure will be a boon as it would permit users to message each other in the absence of switching apps that would imply a more seamless user experience crossways network.
The major app developers are now accepting the need to integrate apps into a unified one as a means to safeguard hackers from attackers. This, in my view, remains a safe and secure way when using Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram that have over 2.6 billion users. It is, therefore, important that Zuckerberg proceeds with this intention since it will benefit the users and boost their confidence when using these apps. The users will feel safe and secure from these attackers who are always looking for vulnerable users to attack. Protection from attacks is more important than the mere allegation by cryptographers alongside privacy advocates that homogenizing message platforms will raise privacy concerns of how the data of users will get shared between the services. This should not be an excuse to bar this effective step because it can easily be solved by ensuring that Facebook operates within the confinement of the privacy laws. This can be mitigated easily by ensuring that both Facebook and Instagram also have default end-to-end encryption like WhatsApp. This will ensure that cross-app traffic is allowed without all encryptions. Like WhatsApp Messenger chats with end-to-end encrypted by default, the Facebook still offer the feature is turned on by the user on “Secret Conversation” should also have it by default. Instagram still lacks end-to-end encryption for all its chats, but the integration should be allowed to proceed once Instagram chats have been encrypted too like WhatsApp. The integration should ensure that no metadata of WhatsApp users are entangled with their wider Facebook accounts following the integration.
The developers of the app also believe that the merger will be protecting consumers from unfair business practices. This is in my view an effective step taken by Zuckerberg since users’ interests must always be the concern of any business. This is because there are a lot of users of WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. Even though there are some reservations, I believe that this step is worth cons. The argument that integration will cement the monopoly power of Facebook by enriching its strove of data, permitting Facebook to spy on the users, I believe that the threat is not to the users and that this argument will only favor competitors rather than users. This distraction should not be allowed since it is only meant to ensure that the market share of Facebook is curtailed and hence got nothing to do with Facebook tracking its users. Therefore, FTC should allow this integration to proceed without demanding its stoppage as a condition for settling any charges linked to the consent decree. Facebook in my view is just doing a fair-trade practice and it has not unfairly locked out other rivals’ firms. Creating a sustained competitive advantage should never be viewed by others as unfair competition. Facebook does not force its users to subscribe but only offers what the users want, and this should not be used wrongly to stop the integration by perceiving it as a means to immunize monopoly power of Facebook from attack.
Merging the multiple apps into one is also beneficial because it will protect messages from view by any person except the participants in the conversation. This is an effective step because it will allow the users of WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram to get more secure when using these apps. This will boost privacy and confidentiality as users will only access authorized persons. This will safeguard the communication between users and this will even help them share confidential information without eavesdropping. This will make the users of these Apps happy and this is how each user wishes to be.
I fully agree with Zuckerberg that this integration of these three famous messaging apps shall benefit the entire family apps of Facebook in the long run by making them increasingly useful. This work of integration should be allowed to continue seamlessly and get completed by early 2020 as planned. The privacy concerns raised can be dealt with effectively by Facebook without necessarily stopping this idea of integration. The unification of the underlying messaging infrastructure of WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram will boost privacy and confidentiality with the encrypted messaging. This is because all apps have been ordered by Zuckerberg to incorporate end-to-end-encryption. This remains a significant move in protecting players in conversation. Thus, completing this move will benefit a Facebook user who will be able to easily send an encrypted message to another user with only a WhatsApp account. This is not feasible at the moment since the apps are still separated. Thus, users will greatly benefit from this move as the apps’ infrastructure will be stitched together thereby increasing the social network utility. This will keep the billions of users extremely engaged within its ecosystem. Thus, this move should be viewed with the intention to build the best-messaging experience and users want to message to get rapid, simple, reliable as well as private. This is a must-do step since it is working towards making more of messaging products end-to-end encrypted and taking into account means of making it easier to reach families and friends crossways networks.
Davis, Alexis. “Facebook to Merge WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger.” The Web Writer Spotlight (2019): 1-4.
Doyle, Kim. “Facebook, Whatsapp and the Commodification of Affective labor.” Communication, Politics & Culture 48.1 (2015): 51.
Hubbard, Sally. “How to Stop Facebook’s Dangerous App Integration Ploy.” The New York Time (2019): 1-4.
Leber, Jessica. “Your Data Footprint Is Affecting Your Life In Ways You Can’t Even Imagine.” Fast Company (2016): 1-4.
Miller, Chance. “Zuckerberg says merging WhatsApp, Instagram & Messenger chats will improve security, create an iMessage-like experience.” Mac (2019): 1-4.
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