INTRO: Facebook has long been rumored to be planning the integration of its messaging stack. This means you will quickly be able to access your WhatsApp and Instagram messages from Facebook Messenger, and possibly, vice-versa. The company has already made headway in this direction by adding the Messenger Rooms shortcuts in WhatsApp and Instagram. Now, a fresh report gives us a close look at the bigger picture.
As spotted by app reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi and reported by WABetaInfo, the Messenger app code includes early signs of WhatsApp integration. The code below shows that Facebook is “creating some tables in a local database, in order to manage messages and services with other WhatsApp users,” as per the report. Why though?
It boils down to how these two apps function. WhatsApp, for those unaware, is E2EE (end-to-end encrypted) and stores all of the chat information on your device. You can choose to back up the same to your Google Drive or iCloud. WhatsApp does not back up any of the messages to its servers. This is the reason WhatsApp works on a single device at a time. That is, however, about to change very soon as multi-device sign-in has been in the works for quite some time.
Facebook Messenger, on the other hand, is already accessible across devices. It syncs all your messages across devices and that does come in handy. The app, however, plans to introduce new protocols (possibly Signal) to incorporate the cross-chat feature. This will enable Facebook Messenger to create local databases for various parameters such as blocked users, notifications, media, group member changes, and more.
Sounds good? Well, the feature seems to be in the nascent stages of development so we will not be able to use it just yet. There’s also a mystery around data handling. Will the Messenger app upload these local databases to the cloud to make your WhatsApp data accessible across devices? Will it still adhere to strict privacy principles of WhatsApp? We suggest you take the working of this feature with a grain of salt and wait to see how it develops down the road.