It’s now a year since David Marcus took over the office as the head of messaging products at Facebook.
While some thought this was the worst timing for him, there are some, like himself, who thought this timing couldn’t have been any better than this.
Why did some think it was a bad timing?
When Marcus was appointed the head of messaging products at Facebook, well, it sounded like bad news. The new baby that had accompanied Marcus to his new post, Facebook Messenger, had all of its users up in arms. The company split this messaging service from the main Facebook app and somehow forced users to download it to keep chatting.
To be honest, many users weren’t happy with this move at that time and by bad luck, it was the mood that was welcoming Marcus upon his appointment.
Why did some think it was a good timing?
Even though there was some trouble with how users took in the news of being forced to download an app, there was some form of celebrations in the developer’s house. Now that Messenger was no longer part of Facebook, it had now become easier to add new features and services to this standalone platform without having to worry about what will happen to the main Facebook app.
It seems Marcus and his team of the messaging department at Facebook have taken pride in this development and for sure, Facebook Messenger is no doubt but booming.
Regular updates have been flowing to Facebook Messenger
Ever since Marcus came in and the chat app Facebook Messenger was made a standalone app, regular updates have been coming to this platform. First, there was the addition of video calling ability, then recently a peer-to-peer payment system was incorporated. Users of Messenger can also share location as well as enjoy voice calls to any other user of the app. Another major update of Messenger that developers are relishing is the developer platform where third-party developers can come up with their applications for Facebook users to enjoy.
The result of this developer platform is that there are now games in this application, businesses can keep in touch with their customers and the end, shopping will come in for the millions who use the app. So, does this make it the right time for Facebook to monetize the Messenger app? Well, the answer still lies with the Zuck himself, especially since he mentioned that it only gets interesting to work with a billion people.
Facebook Messenger is the second most popular messaging app
Facebook Messenger has a user base of more than 700 million people, only WhatsApp is ahead of it with its over 800 million users. Surprisingly, these two apps are owned by Facebook and none of the two yet to is monetized by the social networking giant.
Even though Messenger has a massive user base, it is only half of the total Facebook has. What this means is that Marcus and his team still have a lot to do as far as convincing people that Facebook Messenger is the ultimate app.
Facebook is working very hard towards achieving this numerical advantage. Recently, it did away with the mandatory need of a Facebook account to sign up for Messenger and introduced phone number sign-up. This will ease the process of signing up and hopefully boost the numbers of active users of this app.
The company is facing a challenge in keeping hold of the already unconvinced group of users and according to Marcus, Messenger will bring new and unique features that are exclusive to this app. Some of the features expected to come on board are tied to commerce, for instance, shopping, paying bills and ride-sharing, among others. The end goal is to make the default messaging app on your phone feel irrelevant and old school.
In this way, Facebook Messenger will be making money by handling services that also cost money. It will also enable this messaging app achieve is initial goal of separating from Facebook – to become a business. However, at the moment this app is entirely focused on numbers – acquiring more users based on all of the services on offer.