Facebook appears to be considering and investigating how to integrate WhatsApp into Facebook Messenger.
In a report by WABetaInfo, developer Alessandro Paluzzi was noted as having found references within Facebook code to the combination of these two messenger services.
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) June 3, 2020
While this isn’t available yet and is just something that it seems Facebook is working on, it is part of a plan Mark Zuckerberg spoke about previously. He explained his goal of combining Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp into one service.
It appears from this find by Paluzzi that Facebook may be attempting to make this first step by integrating its two biggest messenger services.
“Some important references were found about this integration: in particular Facebook is creating some tables in a local database, in order to manage messages and services with other WhatsApp users,” said WABetaInfo.
From the lists found, WABetaInfo explains that “Facebook can understand if a WhatsApp contact is blocked, sounds of push notifications, the details of a chat (that includes particular information like the phone number of the contact, a message counter if the chat is archived..) but not its content, members of a specific group and profile pictures of the contact.”
It noted that Facebook is not currently doing this but if it rolled out such an integration, it would likely import Signal protocol to encrypt and decrypt these messages, which is already used for WhatsApp.
“Being under development, all these references might change or be destroyed. The plan to merge those services might also be abandoned, we’re just informing you how things are now,” it said.