By Parmy Olson for Forbes,
Facebook has big plans to turn Messenger into an “Everything App” that will replace many others found on your smartphone, but one of the most important shifts will be turning it into an app that pays for things. (more…)
TECHINASIA: E-Marketer predicts that by 2018 there will be 200 million new smartphone users in emerging Asia. To put that into context, that’s more users than there are currently in the whole of U.S. The opportunity is huge for the developers of these apps, but also for brands to tap into their potential to participate in peer to peer conversation in an engaging and meaningful way. (more…)
TECHCRUNCH: What if buying something was as easy as Liking it? You’d probably buy a lot more, and buy it through whoever made it so damn simple. Becoming that conduit for payments means more than racking up transaction fees. For the portal to purchase influences not just how you buy, but what. Today, purchases are fragmented, and so too is that influence. We buy online and offline. Cash, Credit, PayPal, and now Apple Pay. In turn, influence splinters into ads run on television, print, digital, billboards, and other channels. Whether we want something already or not, the ads are supposed make us more intent on actually spending our money. (more…)
TECHINASIA: Facebook woke up the internet industry when it announced that its popular Messenger app, one of the world’s largest chat apps with 600 million active users, will open up to third-party developers. The move emulates the recipe that brought Asian chat apps Line and WeChat into prominence as platform businesses. Announced on the same day (though overshadowed) was the news about Businesses on Messenger, an upcoming feature on the app that allows users to chat with businesses on customer support matters. Singapore startup Zopim, acquired last year by customer support software company Zendesk for US$30 million, will power the feature. (more…)
THE NEXT WEB: At Facebook’s F8 conference today, it unveiled a number of big new changes to its service that transforms Messenger into a platform, expands Facebook Video even further and offers deeper integrations than ever for developers. The changes are actually really cool and great news for developers — Facebook is finally turning Messenger into the hub for everything, like LINE and WeChat already did in Asia — but they also signal something much larger. (more…)
THE ECONOMIST: Messenger are arguably the most successful smartphone apps. The ten biggest collectively boast more than 3 billion accounts. WhatsApp, the leader, has 700m. The number of WhatsApp messages sent every day now exceeds the number of standard texts. Last year it handled more than 7 trillion messages, about 1,000 per person. But there is more to messaging apps than messages. At an event that starts today in San Francisco, Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, is expected to say that it will turn another of its apps—called Messenger—into a “platform”. That means others will be able to develop software and content for it (games; hotel bookings; tickets of all sorts). Facebook is following WeChat, the leading messaging service in China, and KakaoTalk, a South Korean messenger, which are already platforms of sorts. But it is also moving into territory occupied by Apple and Google and their respective smartphone operating systems, iOS and Android. Tech veterans may recall the “browser wars” of the late 1990s—the last time a successful programme, Netscape’s Navigator, tried to oust a dominant platform, Microsoft’s Windows. The messenger wars may be just beginning.
TECHCRUNCH: Snapchat, one of the ten most popular instant messengers in the world, has raised $200M from Alibaba Group and Saudi Arabian investor Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal at the valuation of $19B. Alibaba’s only weakness against its traditional rival – Chinese Tencent – is the lack of a strong position in the messaging market. With this investment (as well as the investment of $215M in Tango messenger last year) Alibaba is trying to strengthen its position in the market by diversifying assets and insuring itself against the negative effects of the growing popularity of instant messengers as a means for communication, shopping, financial transactions, etc.