A few months ago, Facebook announced plans to unify the backend of its various messaging services, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. WhatsApp is now making the first move towards that change. Information from WABetaInfo suggests WhatsApp users will soon be able to send status updates to Facebook.

At the moment, WhatsApp and Facebook are entirely separate despite the former being owned by Facebook. Deeper integration is on the horizon, starting with the status ability. Users can send a WhatsApp status to their Facebook page, where it will appear as a story.

The report says the feature is still in development but should arrive soon. We expect this to be the first step of many integrations that will highlight how Facebook is now underpinning all its messaging services with the same software.

As I wrote in January, creating links between the three services presents some problems. WhatsApp currently encrypts messages and can do so because its underlying software is independent.

Facebook has taken criticism for the way it handles user data. It will be interesting to see what happens when it has more control over WhatsApp’s software.

Benefits

One of the obvious benefits of unifying its messaging service is enticing users to stay within its ecosystem. Currently, all three applications are separate.

People may use Instagram for photo-based social media but may not feel any need to stay with Facebook for messaging. The company will hope tying the services together may appeal to users to stay within the ecosystem.