Facebook Messenger now has over 800 million users and not lets you send a request to just anyone on Facebook but in a post, the social media giant made it clear they plan to dominate the social space this year. The 800 million is quite remarkable considering that just in June last year, they reported having 700 million users and was the second most popular app after the Facebook app last year especially in light of the app transmitting 10 billion photos each month. This year though, Facebook plans to eliminate SMS altogether as you don’t have to be a Facebook user to use this service anymore. This could attract users who don’t like being on Facebook itself but don’t have problems with messaging in itself. The plan to bring the experience offline and add some artificial intelligence to the whole messenger experience this year. By thinking offline, this will further deal a huge blow to the SMS which is already suffering as it stands today with the flurry of messaging services available.
As put together in the post, here’s a list of major Messenger accomplishments last year;
- Speed improvements
- Video calling
- Conversation customization
- Customer service via Messenger
- Send and receive payments
- Platform for content and expression apps
- Improved location sharing
- Caller/Messenger ID
- Message requests for chatting with non-friends
- Automatic photo sharing with Photo Magic
- M virtual assistant
- Transportation app platform with Uber among others
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.So here’s what to expect in 2016 according to Facebook;
Excerpts from the Facebook post
The disappearance of the phone number
First let’s set some context. Think about it: SMS and texting came to the fore in the time of flip phones. Now, many of us can do so much more on our phones; we went from just making phone calls and sending basic text-only messages to having computers in our pockets. And just like the flip phone is disappearing, old communication styles are disappearing too. With Messenger, we offer all the things that made texting so popular, but also so much more. Yes, you can send text messages, but you can also send stickers, photos, videos, voice clips, GIFs, your location, and money to people. You can make video and voice calls while at the same time not needing to know someone’s phone number. You don’t need to have a Facebook account to use Messenger anymore, and it’s also a cross platform experience – so you can pick up where you left off whether you’re on a desktop computer, a tablet, or your phone.
Threads are the new apps
We’re seeing a paradigm shift in how people engage. At Messenger we’re thinking about how we can help you interact with businesses or services to buy items (and then buy more again), order rides, purchase airline tickets, and talk to customer service in truly frictionless and delightful ways. It is so much easier to do everything in one place that has the context of your last interactions, as well as your identity – no need to ever login – rather than downloading apps that you’ll never use again and jumping around from one app to another. Our early tests in 2015 with brands are showing that interactions will happen more and more in your Messenger threads, so we’ll continue making it easy for you to engage with businesses, and we’ll also do more to enable additional businesses and services to build the right experience in conversations.
We’re all social beings
We love to share, chat, debate, discuss, and inform, most often with those closest to us. Messenger now gives you many tools to help you personalize your conversations no matter who you are talking to – your dorm corridor, your co-workers, your mom…
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