I guess it was only a matter of time, since the world’s most popular social network Facebook, finally integrated some of its features on the instant messaging app it bought in 2014 for $22 billion in cash and stock.
There is an Android developer by the name Javier Santos who has leaked screenshots of a new WhatsApp version with a feature that shows it can be integrated with Facebook. If this leakage holds any waters, WhatsApp users could soon be able to link their WhatsApp account to their Facebook accounts.
There are no details as to what exactly users will be able to do once their WhatsApp and Facebook accounts are linked. It could be just your Facebook profile picture, or the ability to talk to your Facebook contacts on WhatsApp. If the latter is true, then WhatsApp would be giving Facebook’s Messenger a good run for its money. It could outdo Messenger, given the fact that WhatsApp will have the extra advantage of allowing talk to both your Facebook contacts and your mobile’s phone book contacts using just their phone numbers.
Although Messenger also can you to talk to your mobile contacts who are not your Facebook friends. This feature is not available by default; you have first to confirm your mobile number when you first sign in on the Messenger app, then change the setting under “Who can look you up by the phone number you provided?” to Public. Only after setting it to Public can you communicate with your mobile contacts on Messenger using just their phone numbers even though they are not your Facebook Friends.
With WhatsApp, virtually anybody with your phone number saved in their directory can reach you via the app. So this feature does have a little advantage over Messenger if Facebook’s goal is to get you talking to as many people as possible; privacy and security measures notwithstanding.
But this is just an informed guess on my part. The truth of the matter will be unveiled when Facebook rolls out this feature on WhatsApp, which might be sooner that you think. The build of the leaked WhatsApp feature is v2.12.414, and the current (latest) build of WhatsApp at the Play Store is v2.12.367.
If the Facebook-WhatsApp integration does not thrill you that much, perhaps this will; with the said integration, there will be an end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp. So all you guys shying away from WhatsApp and instead choosing Telegram for its encryption and protection of privacy from alleged Uncle SAM. Maybe, the time to join the rest of your friends on WhatsApp is about to arrive with this end-to-end encryption that will be rolled out when Facebook get integrated on the messaging app.