What: News broke that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg plans to merge the three instant-messaging platforms owned by the company.
Why it matters: Zuckerberg’s plan has brought up privacy and antitrust concerns, as it would bring Facebook even more power over 2.6 million users’ data.
According to a New York Times article published last Friday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to merge instant messaging platforms WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram in an effort to keep control over the company. The three services would continue to function as stand-alone apps, but the merger would allow more than 2.6 million users to communicate across platforms.
Since the news broke, antitrust, privacy and security concerns have been voiced. Even though the plan is still in the early stages, it could mean even more power for the company that has been involved in scandal for months over questionable handling of users’ data.
At an event in Brussels, former British deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, who joined Facebook as head of global policy and communications late last year, answered questions about the New York Times’ article and said that Facebook is still a long way off of merging the three instant-messaging platforms.
“It is so early days,” Clegg said. “We haven’t worked out how that will work, whether it’s workable, what regulators may or may not think about it before they jump to any conclusions, what you would need to do, how you make that work in the data infrastructure, how much data integration you need between them. I’m afraid I can’t give you much more color.”