The New York Times reports
“Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, plans to integrate the social network’s messaging services — WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger […] The services will continue to operate as stand-alone apps, but their underlying technical infrastructure will be unified, said four people involved in the effort“.
This is an ingenious move from Facebook. By unifying WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, Facebook can rightfully claim that it doesn’t share any data from WhatsApp/Instagram to Facebook.
Not only that but they can serve ads on WhatsApp in a very Facebook way. Advertisers will love that along with millions of small businesses who already make a living on WhatsApp.
Some of those businesses already run Instagram and use WhatsApp as a separate channel. By unifying the underlining technology, Facebook will reduce costs in the long run and avoid much of the criticism for sharing data among their other properties. All GDPR requests will be funneled through Facebook’s data tools.