As Facebook Messenger hits 800 million users it reveals its future strategies for 2016.
One of the main goals of the messaging giant is to usurp telephone numbers. Being the biggest messaging app in the U.S. its only real competitor remains the SMS.
According to David Marcus, the head of Facebook Messenger, SMS is one of the last remains of the flip phone era. Since now we live in the smartphone era, chat should be the main service used to communicate through text.
Unlike the SMS, chatting services like Facebook Messenger allows users to send photos, GIFs, stickers and other cool features.
One of the ways through which Facebook Messenger tries to convince users to ditch SMS is by allowing the option to message anyone on Facebook. Anyone in the world can reach anyone by only knowing their name without the need to know the phone number.
Facebook’s plans with Messenger rely on the belief that chat is the center of the smartphone just like the search engine is the center of your PC. Facebook wants to exploit this by making the chat a portal to content, commerce and other.
Messenger is exploring new ways to let users interact with services and businesses to buy products from merchandise to airplane tickets, to reach customer service and even to order rides.
Another plan is to allow any business to operate on mobile without the need of maintaining its own app, by mixing the features of Facebook Pages and those of Messenger for customer service. The customer service system is already being tested by Facebook.
Facebook also wants to give Messenger’s users the possibility to customize their threads by adding more filling. It should become one’s personal digital space, different from home or work, but a space of itself when users can express and relax.
In the future Facebook might even add a feature to help friends meet offline by letting each other know when they are available and in the mood for meeting up and where would they hang.
Another cool plan is to develop its own personal assistant M., which is an artificial intelligence already developing in Facebook’s labs. This could mostly benefit old people or people with visual problems as it could read the messages with voice or it could transcribe dictation to send messages.
Weather all these ideas will be implemented or not is left to be seen. However, you can be sure that whatever Facebook has in mind it’s going to be useful and cool at the same time.
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