Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg Reuters

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, plans to integrate the social network’s messaging services — WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger — according to the New York Times.

The move "requires thousands of Facebook employees to reconfigure how WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger function at their most basic levels," according to the report.

"While all three services will continue operating as stand-alone apps, their underlying messaging infrastructure will be unified," according to people involved in the effort.

The project is still in its early stages and is to be completed by the end of this year or in early 2020.

Zuckerberg has also ordered all of the apps to incorporate end-to-end encryption, the sources said. After the changes take effect, a Facebook user could send an encrypted message to someone who has only a WhatsApp account, for example. Currently, that isn’t possible.

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.”