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WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger Integration Said to Be in the Works: Report

Facebook Messenger code suggests the app will be able to interact with WhatsApp.

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WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger Integration Said to Be in the Works: Report

Facebook Messenger may be allowed to communicate with WhatsApp in the future

Highlights
  • WhatsApp contact information may be accessible to Facebook Messenger
  • Alessandro Paluzzi was able to spot references of this on Facebook
  • There is no certainty on the rollout of this feature

Facebook is reportedly working on integrating Facebook Messenger with WhatsApp, as the company had earlier announced. WhatsApp features tracker WABetaInfo reports that the social media giant is looking to enable communication between two of its popular online chat apps. If true, Facebook Messenger will be able to communicate with WhatsApp once Facebook decides to roll out this feature. There is a lot of ambiguity on how Facebook plans to pull this integration off without compromising on data encryption and user security.

WABetaInfo reports that developer Alessandro Paluzzi informed the tipster about Facebook working towards the possibility of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger communication integration. The developer found some important references about this integration, like the code suggesting Facebook is creating some tables in a local database, in order to manage messages and services with other WhatsApp users. The code references suggest that Facebook may be able to know if a WhatsApp contact is blocked, it may be able to recognise sounds of push notifications and even some details of a chat.

Based on the code, this could include information like the phone number of the contact, a message counter, if the chat is archived, but ‘not its content'. Facebook Messenger may also be able to see members of a specific WhatsApp group and profile pictures of the contact.

The tracker asserts that Facebook isn't already collecting WhatsApp messages, but the code for a local database is a work in progress. WABetaInfo predicts Facebook may import the Signal protocol to encrypt and decrypt messages, already used by WhatsApp. There isn't clarity on whether this feature will have a disable option or not, and the tracker feels that because of the complicated nature of this feature, Facebook may just look to abandon it completely in the future.

Even if this integration does see the light of the day, WABetaInfo feels that WhatsApp messages will continue to stay end-to-end encrypted. The tracker adds, “Privacy is one of their core principles that will always define the company and we count it will be always so.”


In 2020, will WhatsApp get the killer feature that every Indian is waiting for? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Further reading: Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp
Tasneem Akolawala Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com. More
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