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Facebook plans to integrate Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.

Facebook plans to integrate its messaging platforms, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger. The three services would remain separate apps, but their infrastructure behind the scenes would be the same.

Even with minimal changes on the surface, the move could have an impact on the billions of people who use the tools.

The apps could also get end-to-end encryption, which shields messages from being read by people outside of the conversation, according to Facebook.

Facebook estimates 2.6 billion people total now use Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram or Messenger each month, according to its most recent earnings report.

Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at research firm eMarketer, said data would likely be shared between the apps as a result of the move.

For users, increased data sharing could also mean that information about their activities on WhatsApp will be associated with what they do on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger, she added.

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