Facebook Messenger Becomes a Platform

Facebook Messenger Becomes a Platform

Facebook intends to follow in the successful footsteps of the Asian messenger giants, adopting their platform strategy into their Messenger Platform which will allow its 600 million users to create and share content with the help third-party tools and communicate with businesses.

Messaging apps in Asia have been platforms for games, camera apps, multimedia and e-commerce for a couple of years now. The most striking example is in China where WeChat, an app from the Internet giant Tencent, has grown into a major mobile Internet portal. On the Chinese platform, beyond text or video chats with friends, you can do all kind of things such as book a taxi, read news, shop at e-commerce stores, order take-out and pay bills.

Currently Facebook Messenger allows users to chat with each other via Facebook’s mobile service. For nearly a year it has been a required app installation for Facebook users who want to chat on mobile devices.

Opening up the platform to third-party developers will provide new ways for app owners to find new users, let users create and share content and chat with businesses rather than calling or emailing them. Facebook released an SDK to help developers start building experiences for Facebook Messenger. Facebook will essentially have its own app store for messenger apps. You can find and download apps, share them with other users and then use the apps to find additional content to share via Messenger.

With the help of Messenger you can find photos, videos, animated GIFs, or other content and share it in a chat. If you receive an animated GIF in a chat but don’t know what app it came from you’ll see a reply link which you can use to reply using the same app or which you can use to install the app if you don’t already have it on your device.

Facebook says there will be over 40 apps available at launch and there’s an SDK that developers can use to create new apps for the platform. Facebook is also adding support for business features such as letting users track packages, pay bills and apply for refunds through Facebook Messenger.

By tapping third-party developers and businesses to enhance it with content and business correspondence, Facebook Messenger becomes more than just a chat app, it becomes a full-fledged communication platform connecting you with the whole world.

Oles Dzyub,
Branded Content Manager at ComboApp