Earlier this week Facebook announced it will be moving all its messaging functionality to an external app, one they’ve been trying to force mobile users to download for a while now. And it looks like they finally found a solution – but will it have the desired impact? Will the hard push for Facebook Messenger be the beginning of an end for this social network? We think it might be time to move on from Facebook and consider other alternatives.
Why we still use Facebook
Facebook loves testing our commitment and patience. This social network constantly changes things we’re used to and rarely, if ever, takes its users’ opinions into consideration. We’ve all been through multiple redesign updates, Newsfeed algorithm changes, and different privacy loopholes, and now we’re being pushed one step further – we need to expand our connection with Facebook to use its most popular feature: messaging.
Over the years the reason why we felt so strongly connected with Facebook evolved. At first it was the novelty, this exciting new platform which seemed to emerge from the ashes of Bebo and MySpace and was taking world by the storm. Let’s not forget Facebook became the fastest growing network ever, now recording over 665 million daily users. Because of that Facebook very quickly transformed into a life journal, packed with photos, notes and events. But as Facebook’s focus shifted from user experience to solely profits over the years and our Newsfeeds became spammed with endless ads and sponsored updates, chat and messages stood their ground. So why is Facebook taking the Messenger away from mobile users?
Do we need another app?
The short answer is – no. Facebook’s very vague explanation that separating Facebook and Messenger will improve the user experience doesn’t make much sense. Not only we’re being asked to download and use another app, we’re not being offered an alternative solution. Both apps can’t be used simultaneously, which means users will be forced to switch between the 2 all the time. This will change the way we interact with each other and the content we share, in result making this the least ‘social’ network of all.
Facebook clearly has its own agenda for Messenger and as you can expect there’s one main goal here – additional profits. The Messenger app offers new revenue options for the social giant and Facebook already admitted this is the long term plan of theirs. Mobile payments via the Messenger app are only one of the possible options which could potentially generate serious revenue.
What are the user options?
If we were to play to Facebook’s rules, it would leave us with 2 options only – either roll with the punches and accept everything the network throws at us or move away from it completely. But how far do we have to go? Keeping in mind that Facebook now also owns Instagram and WhatsApp it’s probably only a matter of time before we’re faced with similar issues. So what are the alternatives?
From business perspective the alternatives seem obvious. For a long time now we’ve seen now that Linkedin and Google+ have more impact on business results that any other social networks. This applies to both – our own business and our clients’ online presence, where the quality of Facebook’s engagements has been decreasing for a while now. Linkedin offers a great, clutter-light platform, focused on the core information. For both business and professionals this is definitely an option which should be heavily considered. We did cover benefits of Google+ previously and here our opinion stays the same – all business should be using as many Google products as possible. It is easy to use, it is effective and most of all – it continues to dominate our market, for that reason alone Google should be at the core of every marketing strategy.
There are also many other social networks which have been available for a while, but haven’t quite get there yet. Vimeo, Snapchat or Tinder might benefit greatly from Facebook Messenger decision. And if this is too mainstream for you – rest assured there are new social networks emerging constantly. You just have find the one that suits you most. And how know – maybe this time next month or next year we will be all taking about a new platform and Facebook will be long forgotten. After all – if Bebo is coming back anything is possible!