Facebook Messenger turns into a platform to support third-party apps
At its F8 developer conference on late Wednesday, Facebook announced that its Messenger has now turned into a full-fledged platform for developers. Facebook’s Messenger Platform is designed to support third-party apps and is aimed to expand its user base from the present 600 million users across the globe.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, during his opening keynote at the conference, said that Messenger is now becoming a way to let users express themselves in “more than just text”. This means that its Messenger Platform opens doors for content partners that mainly offer content in terms of GIFs, emojis, photos, videos and audio clips.
The list of first few partners which have been using the new Messenger API for developing their apps includes Stickered, Bitmoji, Ditty, ESPN, Fotor and Giphy among others.
For the end users, Messenger Platform will provide an instant messaging service similar to popular Asian clients such as WeChat and LINE to let them access third-party apps and services directly through Messenger app. This will enhance the usability of Facebook Messenger and will likely to result in its expansion across mobile users.
Apart from its Messenger Platform, Facebook also previewed Businesses on Messenger at its developer conference. The new move is a strategic decision by the social networking giant to monetise and expand its instant messaging platform by offering businesses a solution to communicate and interact with their customers.
Businesses on Messenger will enable users to directly have conversations with businesses and brands right from Messenger app. In addition, they can choose to receive real-time updates and continue their conversation with one or more businesses directly in the app.
Facebook says that its Messenger Platform will be available through an updated Messenger app for Android and iOS starting today, while its Businesses on Messenger will initially launch with a couple of partners in the coming future.
Messenger app got major focus last year as the social networking giant separated its presence from the Facebook mobile app. The app had more than 500 million users in November, but that figure has now been grown to 600 million.
Earlier this month, Facebook added a feature to let users transfer money from Messenger app. The money transfer feature is so far limited to the US users but would soon be expanded with the arrival of some third-party services.