Last Monday Facebook launched the latest 5.0 version of its Messenger app which now includes video messaging and improved photo messaging. The most drastic update was announced a few weeks prior when Facebook revealed they would be eliminating messaging from the main application altogether. Routing users to a separate app is an effort geared to improve messaging capabilities and capture a younger audience through new features which have gained in popularity for other apps.
This shift, in conjunction with Facebook’s recent purchase of WhatsApp, is indicative of a heavy value the company sees in the messaging space. Although WhatsApp has no plans to incorporate ads in the near future both messaging apps could provide advertisers powerful consumer insights from the already data-rich social networking company.
What are the benefits to consumers?
- With the standalone Messenger app messaging will become 20% faster
- New features such as voice messaging and stickers will be included to compete with other popular messaging applications such as WeChat, Kik and Line
- Users can navigate to Messenger through Facebook app for a seamless experience
What are the hurdles for consumers?
- Users are required to download a second application to maintain mobile messaging
- Each new message sent within Messenger will automatically attach the user’s location disregarding any privacy settings previously set in Facebook
Will advertisers benefit from Messenger migration?
- While potentially concerning for consumers, geo-location will provide advertisers more targeted mobile advertising opportunities
- Facebook newsfeeds will become better at delivering news and updates leaving less clutter for the ads in the space without messaging in the main app
While the Facebook Messenger app will certainly have some traction with the parent company’s pre-existing audience there will likely be some level of drop-off among existing users. While new features will be included it will also be difficult to recapture the younger generation which has been slowly trending away from the social platform in general.
Authored by Kelsee Wadas and Sarah Rondeau