Facebook Messenger Rivals Facetime and Skype
June 27, 2016
It should come as no surprise to anyone that Facebook tries to muscle their way into every corner of online communication. With their acquisition of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014– one of it’s largest purchases to date– one can only imagine what will happen next. While the future of FB products are unclear, we look to one of Facebook’s top apps, Messenger, and how it’s leading the way in providing true solutions for connecting people and businesses in a direct, efficient, and smarter way.
Last week, Facebook introduced video calling in Messenger, allowing users to video-call any of their friends, wherever they are. Whether it be an iPhone with LTE in the States or an Android rocking 3G in Asia, the app makes the VoIP video calling feature direct competition for Facetime, as well as Skype, and Google Hangouts. The feature’s seamless integration with the app give users the option to video chat when text messaging just can’t say it.
Photo Courtesy of Facebook
In order to utilize FB messaging on mobile devices, the stand-alone app required a mandatory download which proved Facebook’s dedicated shift to branding its products. The simple, yet essential download, has enabled Facebook to expand its communication features; now allowing friends to make calls to video chat its newest features of money transfer. For half a billion users, Messenger has become a one-stop-shop on the most dominant social platform.
While this all sounds great for personal use, are there ways your business can benefit too? Mr. Zuckerberg thinks so. Generally speaking, social media serves as a great platform for providing immediate customer service. But still, communication between customers and businesses today are almost non-existent or essentially broken. Facebook looks to fix this broken line of communication with Messenger, focusing on tackling e-commerce elements within the app. In a traditional setting, customers are notified of updates on purchases via email or have to gain tracking and customer service information through a login on the website– too messy.
While something so fundamental as to enhance a user experience and develop a relationship between parties should be a no brainer, it has yet to exist. Facebook sees Messenger as a perfect candidate. Partnering up with two sites to explore this new element, the app can allow customers to receive updates on orders, tracking of shipments, as well as continue the convo, requesting to make changes directly to an order, for example.
Photo Courtesy of SNOTM
However, this high engagement between brand and user could start to blur the line between work and play. Do users really want to engage that much with a brand? Would brands get so enticed into a feature that connects them with their consumers to the point where it could get spammy or too sales-y? While brands in this day and age integrate transparency into their core values of a company, there will be people across FB that won’t want a full on relationship with a brand. And while many users will call foul on this, it might just be something we’ll all have to get used to 🙁