Facebook Messenger recently made an announcement that it now has reached 800 million monthly active users.
This is a dream-come-true for one of Facebook’s most used messaging apps.
In fact, it is just one app – WhatsApp – which has more users than Messenger and it is also owned by Facebook. However, when looking at potential revenue avenues each of these apps brings into play, Facebook Messenger has the upper hand.
Facebook has been making changes into the Messenger app with the belief that the social networking company is aligning the app for commercial use. Last year, the Messenger Platform was unveiled – a platform which allows third party developers to come to this app with their own in-apps. The company also unveiled Business on Messenger, a platform that is essentially of huge interest as far as revenue generation is concerned.
A special focus on Business on Messenger
Just recently, Facebook announced that it will be offering developers of Messenger a software development kit dubbed ChatSDK that is meant to help them create bots to run inside Messenger, offering services that resemble another very popular chat app in China known as WeChat.
This is a different avenue that Facebook has chosen with respect to Business on Messenger, but the main target here is to become a commercial portal in the U.S. and other parts of the world. As mentioned earlier, Chinese use WeChat, a chat app that has attracted more than 650 million users, with about 500 million based in China. Owned by Tencent, users hail a taxi, pay bills, book a doctor’s appointment or even send someone money right from within the app they already spend hours of their days with.
Speaking of hailing taxis, Facebook Messenger recently went this way by partnering with Uber in an integration that will see people access the services of the latter through the former. This eliminates the need to download a separate app as they can now user their Messenger credentials. According to reports, the newly released ChatSDK comes in to help businesses build similar in-apps to work within the Facebook chat app.
Facebook Messenger is the WeChat of the West
There is no doubt that Facebook Messenger is targeting to become the WeChat of the West. It has finally discovered the reason that has made WeChat such a success with business entities. What businesses want is a customer base or an audience and in 800 million monthly active people, Messenger has quite an outstanding audience. However, Facebook has been offering nothing to help these business entities solve their most fundamental problem.
The fact that each and every business wants a smartphone presence does not mean every person will download each and every business’ mobile app. But now that Facebook has enabled the ability for business entities to integrate these apps inside one of the most popular apps in the world, there is no doubt it is finding its balance as far as monetizing of the app is concerned.
Facebook Messenger’s way to becoming a $15 billion business
As mentioned earlier, Facebook owns both WhatsApp and Messenger, but it is the latter that seems closer to monetization than the former. Facebook is currently testing Messenger’s M, an AI-based digital assistant that experts are willing to bet on that will be the focal revenue generator of the app. This tool has been in tests since last year and given that the company has yet to expand this service; it seems it might take quite some time before hitting other regions of the world.
However, with the introduction of ChatSDK, it seems Facebook wants to help developers from all over to come up with tools that will work perfectly with offerings of M. Just like WeChat, users will be able to use M when they want to catch a cab, order a meal, buy and send someone a gift and lots of other things.
With money in circulation, it will mean Facebook Messenger’s stock will be on the rise. While it is still early to say anything, we can easily compare with WeChat, which currently generates $7 per user on average. WeChat is largely based in China and has a smaller user base than Facebook Messenger. The latter was also announced as the fastest growing app in the U.S. and with Facebook’s app thriving in areas where living standards are far much better than where Tencent’s thrives, the former’s app has more potential than the latter’s.
Now that Facebook Messenger is commanding a user base of more than 800 million users, it has the potential to drive revenue of between $10 and $15 billion as long as it integrates its business services via the app, just like WeChat is doing.
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