Facebook’s New Messenger Platform: The Facts

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Last month, Facebook announced at its annual F8 conference that its popular Messenger app would become a developer platform. Upon reading that, you may have thought “What the heck does that mean?” Don’t panic, because TechVise has compiled everything you need to know about the new Messenger platform and what it means for the future.

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE MESSENGER PLATFORM

messenger
(photo courtesy of Computer World)

In essence, the Messenger Platform allows users to make purchases and download apps directly within the Messenger app. These apps are designed to help “enhance” conversations with your friends and family. They include apps that help edit pictures, create GIFs, and even quick video editors. More notably, though, is that Messenger will now let you communicate directly with brands and businesses. This is primarily designed to streamline business related conversations and sales transactions. Overall, its pretty great, and its emphasis on business reflects the ever increasing emphasis on mobile for businesses.

THE BENEFITS

The benefits of this new Messenger platform lies in its simplicity. With these changes to Messenger, there really won’t be a better way to communicate with your friends. With the host of options and share-able features, you would be hard pressed to talk to your friends in any other way. Considering that most people have smartphones with data connections now, it is easy to see how this new Messenger platform could permanently replace your phone’s text messaging. As a fresh platform too, it will give upcoming developers a chance to shine in a fresh market. All in all, it seems like a pretty good deal. Streamlined conversations and business transactions, plus a new market for upstarts to make a name for themselves. That all sounds pretty good, right? Well…

THE CONSEQUENCES

Like all good things, it has its drawbacks. For instance, some channels have noted that this move is an active step for Facebook to be a part of everything you do on the internet. By expanding the messenger platform to include developer apps and business apps, Facebook is effectively eliminating the need for SMS messaging and even services like Amazon or other online stores. And, by involving yourself in it, Facebook now has more access to more conversations and even your sales transactions (transactions that will undoubtedly be tracked by Facebook, who has a long history of collecting information about its users).

The move is also making it increasingly difficult to stay away from Facebook. For those keeping away from the social media giant, this latest development is just another step towards the inevitable. By making business transactions so streamlined, it will be more difficult for businesses to ignore the benefits of being on Facebook. Users will also be drawn to its enormous benefits.

Long story short, Facebook could effectively own the internet.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

In the end, only time will tell how the Messenger platform will affect the way we handle things. It could possibly take off and revolutionize the way we communicate in the mobile age. It could also flop and be another forgotten endeavor. What it will definitely do, though, is generate conversations on mobile applications and how it affects our daily lives. It will spark debates on the increasing invasion of our privacy from digital providers like Facebook, while the enormous benefits will be argued in its favor. In the end, we may have to ask ourselves what our digital privacy means and how we can preserve it while still benefiting from these new and innovative services.

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