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Mark Zuckerberg Says That Integration of Facebook, WhatsApp Not Before 2020

"One of the ways that we're talking about decentralization is through end-to-end encryption in messaging," he added.

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Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg. VOA

Amid the global outrage over Facebook’s plans to integrate chats among Whatsapp, Messenger and Instagram, the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said this is going to be a long-term project.

In an earnings call after announcing Facebook’s fourth quarter results late Wednesday, Mark Zuckerberg said they were early in thinking through the integration plan.

“There’s a lot more that we need to figure out before we finalize the plans. This is going to be a long-term project that I think will probably be to whatever extent we end up doing it in – a 2020 thing or beyond,” said the Facebook CEO.

He said more than the commercial benefits of the chat integration between the apps, he was concerned about data encryption.

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WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

“The first reason that I’m excited about this is moving more to end-to-end encryption by default in more of our products. People really like this in WhatsApp. I think it’s the direction that we should be going in with more things in the future,” he told analysts.

“There are also a number of cases that we see where people tell us that they want to be able to message across the different services,” Zuckerberg noted.

The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) on Monday warned Facebook over its planned integration of chat services — WhatsApp, Messenger and photo-sharing app Instagram — asking the social media giant to provide it with an “urgent briefing” on the proposals.

“The Irish DPC will be very closely scrutinizing Facebook’s plans as they develop, particularly insofar as they involve the sharing and merging of personal data between different Facebook companies,” DPC said in a statement.

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

According to Mark Zuckerberg, the idea is to let people utilise the apps to enhance the experience.

“Hundreds of millions of people are using Marketplace on Facebook now, and a lot of people are using that in countries where WhatsApp is the primary messaging app that they use.

“We need to make it so that people can communicate across the different networks and graphs that they have or be able to do that integration better in order to facilitate more transactions and connections there,” said Mark Zuckerberg.

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He said he believes very strongly in trying to decentralize and put power in individual’s hands.

“One of the ways that we’re talking about decentralization is through end-to-end encryption in messaging,” he added. (IANS)

Next Story

No one Would Buy a Huawei Smartphone Sans Google or Facebook

Despite all this, there is no respite seen for Huawei in the near future and the company is likely to witness its smartphone business dwindle

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FILE - A member of the media tries out new Huawei Honor 20 series of phones following their global launch in London, UK, May 21, 2019. VOA

By Nishant Arora

Be honest and ask yourself: Would you buy a smartphone that neither supports Android operating system and Google apps nor comes pre-installed with Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram? This is the scenario which Huawei (and its sub-brand Honor) smartphones stare at in the near future – and an imminent fall if the issue does not get resolved in the next one-two quarters.

Although the Chinese communications giant aims to launch its own operating system called “Hongmeng” to replace the Android OS on its smartphones but ‘abhi Dilli door hai’ as the OS has to see the light of the day and then users’ approval, which is the most critical part.

The absence of apps like Facebook or WhatsApp that truly define user experiences is a double whammy for Huawei.

Currently the second largest smartphone player in the world (powered by stupendous growth in non-US regions like Europe and Asia), Huawei has sensed the tough road ahead. A recent report in Nikkei Asian Review claimed that Huawei has “downgraded its forecast for total smartphone shipments in the second half of 2019 by about 20 per cent to 30 per cent from the previous estimate”.

According to Navkendar Singh, Research Director, Devices and Ecosystem, India and South Asia, IDC, almost half of Huawei’s smartphone volumes come from outside China with its wide smartphone portfolio which runs on Android with Google Mobile Services (GMS) – a collection of Google applications and application programming interfaces (APIs) that help support functionality across devices.

“China has its own ecosystem of apps which are hugely popular but only in China. Outside it, almost all popular Android apps are from Google or from US-based companies. These apps are the heart of experience of any smartphone user these days,” Singh told IANS.

“Without these apps present on its own OS, it will be very very tough for Huawei to pull in demand for its phones running on its own OS,” he added.

Sandwiched between the ongoing US-China trade war, Chinese telecom equipment major Huawei is frantically looking to salvage its prestige and fast cover the lost ground.

The company is also looking at the Indian smartphone market which has touched 450 million smartphone users and has a great potential to grow.

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Huawei smartphones are seen in front of displayed Google Play logo in this illustration picture, May 20, 2019. VOA

“In India, they have never been really able to scale up to be a major player. But considering the growth potential in India, the decision by Google and Facebook has put a spanner in the Huawei’s possible aggressive plans for the country as the next growth market in next two-three years outside of China,” Singh told IANS.

Huawei pipped Apple as the second largest smartphone seller in the first quarter of 2019 after Samsung. It clocked 17 per cent market share in the global smartphone market, according to Counterpoint Research.

The Chinese tech giant, meanwhile, has denied reports that it has cut down smartphone manufacturing.

The company, however, is reassessing its target to become the world’s top-selling smartphone vendor by 2020, after the US trade ban was put in place.

On May 15, US President Donald Trump effectively banned Huawei with a national security order.

Huawei has filed a motion in a US court challenging the constitutionality of the US President Donald Trump’s order to ban it.

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According to reports, Google has also discussed with the US government about an exemption from the Huawei ban, saying it is bad for the company’s technology business.

Despite all this, there is no respite seen for Huawei in the near future and the company is likely to witness its smartphone business dwindle.

Unless, a miracle happens. (IANS)