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Will Facebook Messenger become an independent project / Blog of PayOnline / SurprizingFacts

The current head of Facebook Messenger – David Marcus – former CEO of PayPal, resigned in June 2014 to start working on Facebook. By his own admission, this change was due to the fact that Marcus was not interested in being the head of a public company.

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He said that work on Facebook gave him the opportunity to put into practice his work experience in the field of mobile technologies, which would allow him to leave a greater mark in history, despite the fact that A few weeks ago Marcus made it clear that he sees Messenger as a modern version of the yellow pages manual that allows people and businesses to find each other "without phone numbers" And conduct business.

The Messenger and the Yellow with There is really something in common: their future causes a lot of questions.

Messenger as a topic for discussion

A recent report on the financial activities of Facebook was met with widespread approval. The results of the second quarter are really impressive: the number of active users has exceeded 2 billion, the daily active users' index has exceeded 1.3 billion, the revenue grew by 45%, the profit by 71%, and 87% of the revenue fell on advertising and these are just some of the indicators. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also noted in one of the preliminary comments that Facebook plans to increase financial support for Messenger so that the application can accelerate with activation, audience growth, and, as a result, with monetization, which, Zuckerberg said, has just begun.

Not surprisingly, Facebook Messenger has become the main topic for discussion in the session of questions and answers. Analysts wanted to better understand the place of the messenger in the company's portfolio of projects, especially in the event that the profitability of advertising on Facebook begins to fall, and in the news stream there will simply not be a living place for new ads. One of the participants in the discussion even noticed how unusual for modern companies with a database of active users of more than a billion people not to have a monetization strategy and corresponding profits.

Mark Zuckerberg's answer to this and many other questions that day was unchanged: Messenger is not included in the list of "short-term drivers of Facebook's growth." He also added that other messenger platforms managed to create strong ecosystems, and Facebook itself successfully monetize its social network and Instagram, and therefore the company believes that in the long term Messenger will come to the same results.

At Several weeks before, several roundtables were held, during which Marcus talked about the progress of Messenger, including new launched "chips" and the impact of bots on increasing the interest of consumers in Messenger. It was during one of those interviews that Marcus made an analogy with yellow pages for business and white pages for ordinary people, noting that if the phones were invented in our time, people would not want to use phone numbers to make contact. Instead, according to Messenger, people would use digital contact pages, and all such pages would be collected in one convenient place with search capabilities.

This place, according to the idea of ​​its creators, should become Messenger.

However, achieving this goal is not an easy task, because it requires changing the habitual attitude of consumers to Facebook, the habits of using Messenger and other messenger-platforms, not to mention the need to work out a plan that takes all these points into account.

[1 9459006] Bragging and communication with the general public

Facebook developed quickly. More recently, the social network was a place where teenagers from colleges could get to know each other and make friends with their peers from the campus. And pretty quickly, Facebook turned into a great online voice for broadcasting information about everything that people wanted to boast about the whole social network. Quite soon the news tapes captivated photographs of graduation, family holidays, meetings of schoolmates, fathers who had just run a marathon, mothers celebrating birthdays or weddings of friends.

In general, that part of the personal life that can be displayed for public viewing.

Almost immediately, the online speaker received the following layer: the brands were able to place their advertising in the social network. Today, this advertising is seen by as many as 1.3 billion people who are watching their news line every day. So now, looking through the pictures from your friend's party in the pool, you get the opportunity to simultaneously learn all the inside-out relationship of Jay Lo and A-Rod from the corresponding material of the People magazine, read a few stories of animal rescue from dodo.com that can melt even the coldest heart, see A video with Gwyneth Paltrow, who puts on her face the next product of her own cosmetic brand Goop, and also see the advertisement of a whole heap of retailers and spice it up with recipes from the Food Network.

That messaging platforms are quite another matter.

Consumers use them to share private information that is not intended to be shared with another interlocutor or a small group of people who know each other and are specially secluded in their own private internet corner. Sending a text message is not only a more urgent way of communication, but also more suitable for discussing sensitive topics between friends or family members no matter how quickly the message is delivered.

Today, brands began using text messages to inform about the status Order, its confirmation, a reminder of a visit to a doctor or the need to re-prescribe drugs. All this happens with the prior permission of the consumers themselves. Friends use messaging platforms to send each other links to buy things or agree on a meeting place. Instant messengers based on OS also make it possible to reserve a place in OpenTable, call Uber, or even order a pizza right while chatting.

Unlike the situation with mailboxes or newsfeed, in the case of messengers, chances are That brands will start to persuade you to buy anything without your prior consent is extremely small, since regulators will not stroke such companies on the head for such actions. As a result, messaging platforms are cleaner, because spam in them is much less. Their content is several times more user-oriented.

However, this division into the public and personal components did not stop many, including Marcus and his team from trying to create the very single place within which It's not just between current friends but also between consumers and brands that will become common.

Just like Tencent did with WeChat.

Attempts to replicate this model outside of China face the same problem: cultural uniqueness countries, de WeChat was born. And in addition, consumers in other countries have a rather large selection of alternatives.

Tencent began its existence as QQ, a platform for instant messaging and games running on desktop computers. Its main base was formed by a network of customers who used this platform to communicate with each other. When Tencent began the transition to the mobile sphere and the main application became WeChat, the company had to convince users of QQ to download the WeChat application and start using it. Anyway, most of the users switched to the new product, because Tencent simply did not have strong competitors, and they did not want to refuse all the advantages offered by Tencent. Over time, more functions and chips were added to the ecosystem, which turned it into a single center, whose users could communicate with friends, build new ones, and interact with brands and pay for their purchases.

As in the case of Tencent And QQ, after separating from Facebook in front of Messenger there was a serious task of attracting users to download a new standalone application. When Messenger was built into Facebook, opening a new chat window right in the social network and writing something to friends was very simple.

But in practice, friends on Facebook often have several other channels of communication: phone messengers, LinkedIn, mail, and many other competitors who take away from Facebook the audience, For example, like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. Therefore, the transition to Messenger was not easy, especially to users of developed markets in the US and the UK, which, according to the developers themselves, are very important for the application. Failure to download Messenger did not lead to loss of contact with their circle of communication, but only meant that the user now will have to use the other communication channels more often. And after Messenger, I ended up falling into the category of applications that are easier to remove so that they do not take up unnecessary space on the smartphone's home screen and do not bother with their notifications.

It seems that these problems are already enough, but on the way to Messenger

It is known that consumers in developed countries form for themselves a certain ecosystem of applications that are regularly used on their phones. It will be fair to say that they do not download many new applications, but they do not stint on installing those that they like to use. Usually this set includes Uber, Amazon, walmart.com, Chrome, PayPal, Yelp, banking application, OpenTable, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and, for example, the same Messenger, among other things. And each of these applications they use when they think that it is most suitable for meeting certain needs, such as communicating with friends, broadcasting news to a wide audience of people they have not seen for years, searching for new products and places, Interaction with brands and paying for purchases.

Changing this behavior and expecting that users will start using Messenger as a starting point for finding people, brands and shopping looks like an unattainable goal, Only new commercial bots will be launched on the platform.

Apparently, Facebook's willingness to invest as much money as it likes does not help, as long as this does not happen. Time today is a currency that innovators – even such authoritative platforms as Facebook – should spend wisely.

Of course, one can not exclude the possibility that such an intermediary application, simplifying a multitude of different actions, will sooner or later appear To light. However, it should be noted that similar applications already exist. Users often use Amazon as a starting point for online shopping, Google – as a starting point for search and native instant messengers, and Instagram and WhatsApp for communicating with friends. Conversational interfaces such as Alexa, Allo, Bixby and Cortana help users connect with each other and build communication with brands and businesses. Apparently, they represent the most attractive way for consumers to gain access to various brands, applications and websites, since they are already willing to use them.

It's easy to see that this is the article that businesses are assigned to A large part of the budget. It seems that the bubble of bots (in the context of commerce) really burst, as predicted in my material a year ago.

With all this, from 2014 and the moment when Marcus joined the company, the number of active users of Messenger grew More than twice. In addition, Messenger – one of the most popular applications around the world, despite the considerable competition in all its regions. Many of the people I interviewed use it for quite specific reasons: to communicate with friends from other countries or communicate with a network of friends, all communications with which occur primarily on Facebook.

Recent steps Messenger seem to be aimed at replicating the experience of other platforms , For example, the introduction of filters, as in Snap. Facebook's efforts to make Messenger a convenient place to communicate brands and their customers look more like an initiative that Facebook needs more than Messenger users. In addition, the advertisement appeared in the application is a very risky way to monetize, but the development team seems ready to go for it, because they do not have any other real ways.

The decision of Facebook to separate Messenger into its own application, Making it inaccessible to Facebook users until they download it. According to Marcus, this step was necessary, since without it Messenger would never have turned into a separate platform. And it was this platform that seemed to be conceived by Facebook as a bridge connecting the company with the world of commerce.

Due to the fact that WeChat began as a social network, and also the absence of equally convenient alternatives, the application managed to make a leap rather quickly From the simple sending of messages and games to the possibilities of buying things and ordering a taxi through the messenger. Facebook for all these years has not managed to sweep this "abyss", despite numerous efforts. A few years ago the material came out that the reason why people in developed countries came to Facebook (at the time of writing) was to "keep track" of changes in the lives of their friends, rather than buying from brands that they liked at the time.

Later, the fact that consumers do not trust Facebook as a "window" in the world of shopping, found confirmation in the results of the May study. Only 8% of consumers reported that they view Facebook as a central point of entry into the world of shopping and trust it in this respect.

Will the division of Messenger and Facebook somehow influence this state of affairs? Hardly Messenger can become something like WeChat or lay the foundation for a commercial ecosystem for Facebook, or become a large and independent advertising engine. There is an impression that in nature there is simply no such phenomenon that could help Messenger become that "single center".

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