Facebook announced the opening of its Messenger app as a platform for developers at its #f8 developer conference in San Francisco. The new platform expands beyond its own Messenger Stickers product to include fun new 3rd party apps like Dubsmash and Giphy. For Messenger, these are separate apps that simplify the process for feeding pics and video into Facebook Messenger, such as Giphy + Messenger from Giphy.
When acquiring mobile users for your application Facebook doesn’t want you to look outside its family of apps. Messenger as a platform opens a new channel for app discoverability, although the free to play window will likely close by the end of the year with promoted mobile app install ads. The announcement comes with 40 apps at launch including big brands like ESPN to share daily sports GIFs.
There will still be a few breakout standalone messaging apps such as SnapChat, but the Messenger platform leaves little opening or cause for new messaging apps with only a single add-on new feature. Single feature communication apps will now become clever snackable fads that quickly populate our messaging stream until the next new feature arrives.
As part of the Messenger platform, Facebook also announced Messenger Business to replace the confirmation email, support ticketing from desktop, and notifications about shipping alerts into a single Facebook Messenger chat stream. Businesses can start using the “Send to Messenger” button as part of their checkout process to open a direct communication channel to their customer’s smartphone without even having to use audio portion of the telephone.
See the full announcement below:
Facebook’s new Messenger platform helps ensure the photos and conversations that you care most about aren’t happening out of Facebook’s network.