Privacy has become a major concern for consumers over the past few years after many tech companies were allegedly exposed due to security issues. This includes virtual assistant platforms such as Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and more. Additionally, software and services for payments, shopping, and communication have been reported to have flaws. Facebook was recently embroiled in a controversial court battle regarding the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which it lost. In an effort to protect user information, it plans to integrate compatibility between Messenger and WhatsApp.

This appears to be in line with what Mark Zuckerberg hinted at last year, which is to combine certain functionalities of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Overall, the goal seems to be the unification of all services into one user account which should give developers more control over safety from hackers. This was discovered after Twitter user @alex193a (Alessandro Paluzzi) and independent developer posted screenshots of speculated functionalities.

It looks like Facebook will work on Instagram first, which according to Paluzzi shows an option for the user to download a Messenger add-on for the app. Another image, as pointed out by WaBetaInfo, shows a splash screen that reads: "There's a New Way to Message on Instagram." Furthermore, the text description reads "Reach friends anywhere" states: "Message, video chat or reshare photos with people who use Instagram or Facebook."

The version or build number of the app in question was not specified, but it could still be a copy in the hands of developers which has leaked. After some data mining, it was likewise discovered that Facebook is updating a local database with tables that implies the eventual support of cross-compatibility with WhatsApp messages and services.

WhatsApp fined €3m over data sharing
WhatsApp fined €3m over data sharing in Italy Getty Images/Carl Court

For now, there are more questions than answers as details have yet to be uncovered by insiders. Nevertheless, tech pundits are confident that existing users of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp should be able to control certain privacy settings that should prevent their profiles from showing up on search queries initiated by other people. Ultimately, given that these purported features are still in the development stages, there is a likelihood that it might be scrapped or delayed indefinitely.