Facebook has already begun working on unifying the backend of three messaging services – Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The tech company announced that the merger will make it easier for people to send messages across the platforms, while also ensuring that users stick to company’s products.
According to the BBC, these social media apps will remain as standalone offerings but will be integrated into the backend to make the interaction between the three easier.
However, the plan has come under fire as it raises regulation and privacy issues. The plans have drawn scrutiny from the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), asking Facebook for an urgent briefing of what is being proposed. The data protection company said in a statement that the integration can only occur in the EU if all requirements of the GDPR are strictly complined with.
A Silicon Valley congressman, Ro Khanna, tweeted that “This is why there should have been far more scrutiny during Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp which now clearly seem like horizontal mergers that should have triggered antitrust scrutiny.”
Last year, WhatsApp’s plans to share personal data with Facebook were quashed, following an investigation from the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office, after declaring such data transfer would be illegal.