Menu
Facebook reveals the logic behind its forced Messenger split

Facebook reveals the logic behind its forced Messenger split

It made Messenger a separate app and then turned it into a platform all its own

Facebook's Messenger app across devices, as pictured on July 28, 2014.

Facebook's Messenger app across devices, as pictured on July 28, 2014.

Facebook annoyed and puzzled many people last year when it forced them to download its Messenger app for chats. Its reasons for doing so are now clearer: Messenger is becoming a beast of an app, with its own links to outside businesses and software apart from Facebook's main site.

At the company's F8 developer conference this week in San Francisco, executives pulled back the curtain on the new Messenger. It's now a storefront and a platform for other mobile apps, which can be downloaded from within Messenger and integrated into people's Messenger chats. There are more than 40 outside app partners already aiming to spice up users' conversations with things like personalized GIFs, tools to turn your texts into songs, and even sports animations from ESPN. The apps can be accessed by hitting the "..." button on the Messenger compose screen.

Users can still send each other plain old text-based messages. But why do that when the Messenger app Ditty can turn your text into a song? Or when you can superimpose fire onto your friend's house with Pyro?

These sorts of integrations, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at F8, are meant to give people more tools to express themselves and say what they want to say better.

Also, Facebook is now positioning Messenger as a business platform. Soon, when people buy things from select online retailers, they'll be able to sign up for updates like shipping notifications from within Messenger, or chat with the retailer there, or even change their order. Facebook thinks this is better than having to use regular email or phone calls to engage with the business. Facebook's initial retailer partners include Zulily and Everlane.

Plus, Messenger users now have the ability to send each other money. You can't buy things from businesses directly through Messenger yet, but it's not hard to imagine Facebook going down this route, especially as the company experiments with a "buy button" on Facebook's main site.

Meanwhile, Facebook Messenger handles quite a few voice calls. In fact, it accounts for more than 10 percent of mobile VoIP calls globally, Zuckerberg said.

Messenger now has roughly 600 million users who log in at least monthly, Zuckerberg said. That's almost half the size of Facebook's total user base.

Late last year, at a public Q&A, Zuckerberg said Facebook split Messenger off to make it a better, faster messaging product. Apparently, Facebook also thinks Messenger can do a lot of other things better.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesinstant messaginge-commercemobilesocial mediainternetFacebook

Featured

Slideshows

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Show Comments