Facebook to merge WhatsApp and Messenger
Facebook is looking at integrating WhatsApp into Facebook Messenger, according to a report by WABetaInfo.
The report cited developer Alessandro Paluzzi, who found references within Facebook code regarding the integration of these Facebook-owned services.
“In particular, Facebook is creating some tables in a local database in order to manage messages and services with other WhatsApp users,” said WABetaInfo.
Properties found within Facebook Messenger’s code would reportedly allow Messenger to understand if WhatsApp contacts are blocked, the sounds used by push notifications, and details of WhatsApp chats like phone numbers, message counters, and whether the chat is archived.
Notably, however, Facebook does not currently have properties that allow it access to the content of chats, members of a specific group, and profile pictures of contacts.
WABetaInfo said that while Facebook can’t currently collect WhatsApp messages, if this feature continues to be developed, it is likely that Facebook will hold WhatsApp messages in the aforementioned local database in the future.
“Since WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted, it’s likely that Facebook will import the Signal protocol to encrypt and decrypt messages, already used by WhatsApp,” added WABetaInfo.
However, the website noted that since this is still under development, all of this may still change, or be destroyed completely.
Paluzzi also claimed that Instagram is looking to integrate Facebook Messenger into the Instagram app.
New WhatsApp features
WhatsApp recently announced a number of new features, including the implementation of dark mode for desktop versions of the messaging platform.
Group chats of up to eight members can now start a group video call with all members in just one tap.
Other features that are being added to WhatsApp in coming weeks include:
- Animated stickers – New animated sticker packs will be added to WhatsApp.
- QR codes – Instead of having to type someone’s number into their contact list, users will be able to scan each others’ QR codes and automatically add the user to their contacts.
- Statuses on KaiOS – Users who are operating WhatsApp on devices that use KaiOS will get access to WhatsApp’s Status feature.