In its bid to find new ways to generate revenue and stem the losses from its stalwart news feed product, Facebook will look to integrate its messaging services: WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.
Future of Facebook 2019
So far, the talk around Facebook’s plans to bring these services together has involved improvements in data mining, privacy and the company’s ability to deliver more targeted ads.
But Facebook is looking to create a super-messaging platform, which it sees as the future of social networking.
China’s multi-purpose platform WeChat offers a way forward
In China, WeChat – which has over 1 million monthly users – is a prime example of a messaging service that has morphed into a multi-purpose platform.
Currently, WeChat users are able to send text messages, buy groceries, summon cabs, order online food, and make offline payments at businesses – all without leaving the parent app.
Clearly, a multi-purpose platform offers stickiness, but it also creates a revenue model that goes beyond advertising.
By putting various customer service apps on the same platform, Facebook wants to keep its billions of users engaged in the ecosystem, offering a number of third-party functions that can be monetised while staving off competition from rival messaging apps.
During its most recent earnings report, Facebook reported that 2.6 billion people use Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram or Messenger each month. In addition, more than 2 billion people use at least one Facebook-owned app daily.
Facebook hopes to push past advertising as a primary revenue model and by unifying its chat apps, it will be to move away from being a provider of communications technology to become a fully-fledged platform for the exchange of services, payments and third-party content – something Facebook proper has not yet been able to achieve.
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