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How might this affect your business pages? 
Facebook has today announced that it is planning to integrate its WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger apps. Each service will remain a standalone app but the chat functions will be merged. The firm said it's likely to be a 'long process' but that it will be complete sometime in 2020. 
Facebook is planning to merge Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp by letting users message one another across all the services, according to the New York Times. The shock decision would mean that all of Facebook's social media properties would be integrated for the first time. 
Each of the services would remain as standalone apps, but Facebook would create a new way for users to communicate with others across the apps. 
The company is still in the early stages of the work and plans to complete it by the end of this year or in early 2020, the report said. 
After the changes, a Facebook user, for instance, will be able send an encrypted message to someone who has only a WhatsApp account, according to the report. 
Facebook expects it to be a 'long process,' however. 
'As you would expect, there is a lot of discussion and debate as we begin the long process of figuring out all the details of how this will work.' 
It is also currently unclear how the integration will affect business users. 
It may help Facebook find more ways to drum up advertising revenue, the Times noted. 
We believe this means it may be possible to target message adverts to all types of platform messages, all at the same time. 
We have plenty of questions though, as we are sure you do too. 
Will a business page be able to message all the likes and followers on Instagram and Facebook via one portal? 
Will it be clear which platform they have messaged our page from, if they are asking us a business page question? 
Will it affect the way we use automatic message replies? 
Will there be an update to Pages Manager and Business Manager to allow us to keep track? 
Maybe there will be a brand new app that lets us control them all in one place? 
At the moment, there are a zillion unanswered questions, and it looks like it won’t be anywhere near ready until at least early next year. 
Whatever happens, you can trust us to make sure we are one step ahead of the game at all times, and we will update you all with any news as soon as we hear it. 
Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, then WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014. Mark Zuckerberg has long maintained that he aimed to keep the services separate, but now believes that integrating the chat services will benefit the entire 'family of apps,' according to the Times. 
Let us know what you think about it all over on this post on our Facebook page! 
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