Remember when Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) forced users to install their messenger app in 2014? Many users were angry, and some even stopped using the service. However, Facebook reveals why it was necessary to make that move in their F8 developer conference. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s Chief Executive Officer, plans on changing FB Messenger to a platform. Software developers will now be able to create their own apps and features to be used within Messenger, which will allow people to send videos, gifs, and voice calls. The platform will also support businesses by allowing them to reach out to 600 million monthly users with customer services, such as ordering a product, shipping information, receipts or changes to your orders.
Changing Messenger as a platform will enable developers to create what the people want, and promote creativity instead of building the tools themselves. Most of these apps will enhance the expressions and communications for users of the younger generation. GIPHY is an app within Messenger that allows users to send gifs. The ESPN (NYSE: DIS) app lets you share highlights, or you can send clips from action movies with the FX (NASDAQ: FOX) app. Other apps such as L’Oreal, will allow teenage girls to give themselves a virtual makeover and send it to their friends. People without the app that receives these messages will get an invitation to download and install the new app within Messenger.
Business communication will be quicker and simpler with Messenger’s new change. For example, you can now have conversations with retailers and service providers about your order status, transactions, or reservations in a restaurant. Notifications from businesses will also be communicated via Messenger. For example, you will receive notifications from your airline after booking your ticket. You will get messages on gate changes and delays, when it’s time to go to the airport and will even allow you to change your reservation.
With many new functions to Facebook Messenger, complications may drive users away; which is why Facebook purchased Whatsapp. The $18 billion acquisition will be used to address the issue of users facing complications in the new FB Messenger. Whatsapp will be the replacement of FB Messenger as a communications utility. The simplicity and ease of use of Whatsapp are the reasons why they are able to maintain 700 million monthly users.
Many of the new functions will be available immediately, while the business function will launch in a few weeks. Zuckerberg said “There are going to be a lot of things we can do with Messenger Platform over time.”