The messy details behind Facebook’s messaging plans

It feels strange to say this in 2019, but one of the biggest tech companies in the world is betting its future on interoperable messaging. In a major announcement on Wednesday, Mark Zuckerberg announced a shift in focus for Facebook, moving from the News Feed to encrypted, ephemeral messaging — or as he put it, from the town square to the living room. After years of pushing for more data shared with more people, Facebook wants to give users a quiet place to talk.

It’s a fascinating plan for lots of reasons — in part because of the break from Facebook-as-usual — but it’s hard to know what it might look like in practice. The relatively simple part is knitting together the products Facebook already has. Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram all…

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