Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to integrate the social network’s messaging services: Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp into one.
A new report from the New York Times says that the services will continue to operate as stand-alone apps, but their underlying technical infrastructure will be unified.
The newspaper added that this would involve rewriting the basic software of the three apps to ensure they were interoperable.
An Instagram user would be able to, for instance, text a WhatsApp user for the first time without needing to switch applications. This is currently impossible as the applications have no common core.
That will bring together three of the world’s largest messaging networks, which between them have more than 2.6 billion users, allowing people to communicate across the platforms for the first time.
The plan — which is in the early stages, with a goal of completion by the end of this year or early 2020 — requires thousands of Facebook employees to reconfigure how WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger function at their most basic levels, according to the New York Time’s Mike Isaac.
here is news: Mark zuckerberg plans to connect the messaging services of his three most powerful apps: WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger. not everyone at the company is happy about it.https://t.co/oqaQOaTlye
— rat king (@MikeIsaac) January 25, 2019
The plan is believed to be a personal project of Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg has also ordered that the apps all incorporate end-to-end encryption, a major step that protects messages from being viewed by anyone except the participants in a conversation, according to the New York Times.
In a statement, Facebook said it wanted to “build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private.” It added: “We’re working on making more of our messaging products end-to-end encrypted and considering ways to make it easier to reach friends and family across networks.”