wants to extend its messenger app to include other new features. The features
to be included are options for sharing content, improved access for third party
developers and hosting other services on Facebook Messenger. The plan to tour
this route might be because instant messaging is stealing the limelight from
other big social networks. This will be announced at the next F8 developer
conference next week.
Some sources said that Mark Zuckerberg and his team wants Facebook to become a
platform in its own right. It seems Facebook wants to follow in the footsteps
of big messaging apps like Wechat and Line in Asia which are platforms that do
more than just chatting. These apps are full fledged portals that other apps
and content can be built on. They also support calls and games. The outcome of
the initial experiment will enable Facebook to make its decision to add other
Facebook plans to start these developments slowly and partner up with other
people but it might eventually open up to more developers.
The aim of Facebook is to recreate the best works of its initial web platforms
without making the same mistakes it made before. The initial web platform had a
lot of games and it gave third parties access to users identity and that of the
friends they send game invitations to, this connected the people’s app to their
Facebook profile and it helped developers find an interested audience. This is
a bit difficult to do now as app stores are overcrowded and very competitive in
the present mobile era. The drawback was that the web platform became riddled
with game spam and this forced the web giant to reduce its virality. Facebook
therefore is likely to be more careful this time around to ensure spam does not
slip into its relatively pristine messenger app as it must have learnt a thing
or two from that bad experience.
If these reports are true, we will see Facebook moving its messenger away from
what it used to be known for. The target of the messenger is on users that want
to send and receive text messages, phone calls, photos, videos, voice clips,
stickers and the send and receive money all within the Facebook system.
Facebook can take inspiration from the Line and Wechat in building its platform as they were pioneers in exploring the
platform approach. Line allows its users to follow official account which makes
them receive content directly from celebrities, news organizations, Manchester United
and the BBC. Line official Accounts are developed for lower volume and direct
communication with their fans. On the Wechat platform the users can pay for
taxis, buy movie tickets, make video calls and do lots of other things.
It has been said that content seems to be the focus of Facebook’s initial
platform effort but it could eventually expand into commerce. Just this week,
Facebook added a debit card that will enable free friend to friend payments
through messenger. With this payment interface, it will be easy for them to add
more commerce oriented opportunities.
With over 500 million users, Facebook is one of the most popular apps in the
world and its mission is to make messenger more useful, expressive and
delightful to the users.