Facebook planning combined business messaging platform: Report

Facebook is working on a combined business messaging platform that would unite communications through Facebook and Instagram, according to a report on Tuesday.

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The feature will allow businesses to manage messages from both Facebook Messenger and Instagram through the same portal within Facebook Pages Manager, Axios reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. In the past, business messaging had to be done separately on the two platforms.

The function would allow businesses to respond to user messages without the user knowing whether the post came from Facebook or Instagram. The plan could help Facebook control a larger portion of the business messaging space.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The New York Times reported last month that Facebook is planning to fully integrate its three messaging platforms – WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger – into one combined service. While the apps would remain autonomous, the combined service would allow freer communication between their combined 2.6 billion users.

The social media giant is reportedly eyeing a late 2019 or early 2020 for the project.

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Facebook shares surged in recent days after the company posted a record quarterly profit in its most recent earnings report. The company has faced unprecedented scrutiny in recent months regarding its data and cybersecurity practices.