"So we won't keep messages or stories around for longer than necessary to deliver the service or longer than people want them".
The company will focus on private and encrypted communications, where users can message smaller groups of friends, according to a New York Times analysis of the news.
The shift to more intimate communications between smaller groups, making those conversations private even from Facebook itself, and no longer keeping data for a long period of time is no doubt created to address the tech giant's poor track record on privacy in recent times.
"Privacy is a headwind for us in 2019", Wehner said, speaking at Morgan Stanley's 2019 Technology, Media & Telecom Conference.
The move marks a U-turn in Facebook's business model, which critics argue has been built around selling private data off to the highest bidder. "This is the future I hope we will help bring about", wrote Zuckerberg. Second, we'd need to make sure interoperability doesn't compromise the expectation of encryption that people already have using WhatsApp.
Image Source Naked Security – Sophos
Social networking in general, and Facebook in particular, is far from synonymous with the notion of privacy.
The comments relate to Facebook's plans to integrate the back end of its popular messaging services, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, which have about 2.6 billion users between them. As we build up large collections of messages and photos over time, they can become a liability as well as an asset. "People expect their private communications to be secure and to only be seen by the people they've sent them to - not hackers, criminals, over-reaching governments, or even the people operating the services they're using", Zuckerberg wrote. But now, with all the ways people also want to interact privately, there's also an opportunity to build a simpler platform that's focused on privacy first.
Facebook's now-explicit transition from public square into private portal shouldn't be too big a shock; it's a shift that's been increasingly telegraphed by the platform's constant addition of functional gewgaws like payments, games, and commerce options from food delivery to hailing rideshares.
Days after Apple CEO Time took a indirect jibe at Facebook, it's now the turn of Mark Zuckerberg to respond in kind. Which is why Zuckerberg's new prediction that Messenger and its fraternal twin WhatsApp will become the primary means of interfacing with the Facebook network only sounds like a stretch, not an impossibility.
Public social networks will continue to be very important in people's lives - for connecting with everyone you know, discovering new people, ideas and content, and giving people a voice more broadly. After the past few years of controversies, many lawmakers across the world have suggested Facebook needs to be closely watched.
In May 2018, it promised to launch a "clear history" feature that would let people delete personal data Facebook had scooped up. Only WhatsApp fully secures message content from all outsiders, including Facebook itself. "However, Facebook places all responsibility on apps to ensure that the data they send to Facebook has been collected lawfully".