Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to unify Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram under one platform to have more control over the various companies.
The New York Times reports four Facebook employees have confirmed Zuckerberg is planning to keep the apps separate but their “underlying technical structure” will be unified.
This will bring 2.6 billion users onto one platform allowing them to communicate across the platform rather than swapping between apps.
Zuckerberg wants to keep Facebook users inside the ecosystem which could mean bad news for rival messaging services like Apple and Google.
The plan is currently in its early stages with reports saying Zuckerberg wants the platform to be up and running by either the end of this year or the beginning of 2020.
The changes to the platform means thousands of employees will be reconfiguring how Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp function at the most basic levels, according to those involved.
Zuckerberg has asked to add end-to-end encryption into each platform, which currently is only found in WhatsApp.
Facebook told the New York Times in a statement it wanted to, “build the best messaging experiences we can; and people want messaging to be fast, simple, reliable and private.
“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.”
This moves impacts its advertising stream because if its users are in the Facebook apps more often then it can increase its advertising business or add new revenue generating services, the New York Times reports.
Zuckerberg originally planned on having each app remain autonomous and has publicly promised he would.
But as the co-founders of both Instagram and Whatsapp left the social media giant last year it seems he is jumping at the opportunity to backtrack on his promises.
Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, who were CEO and CTO respectively, left Facebook in September last year as reports surfaced tension was brewing between them and Zuckerberg due to the reduction in autonomy in the app.
This can be seen through the removal of the Instagram shortcut in Facebook, the addition of Facebook notifications inside Instagram and the three line menu on the profile page which originated in the Facebook app.
WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum left Facebook last April amidst rumours he was butting heads with Zuckerberg over the app’s strategy and Facebook’s attempts to use its personal data and weaken its encryption.
The other co-founder Brian Acton left in November 2017 and has been pretty public about his thoughts on Facebook Tweeting out, “It is time. #deletefacebook” in March 2018 after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.