Messaging is obviously going to be much more than a category of apps. I never quite saw this coming, but it couldn’t be more obvious. Facebook, Twitter, etc. became platforms by their ability to broadcast things to a network, and messaging apps are the opposite.
For example, in the case of Meerkat, I could stream my friend’s birthday party to our private WhatsApp/Messenger group. Or, my sister could WhatsApp her Uber’s position to me and my dad – this happens via SMS now, but WhatsApp would just be so much better. Facebook’s foray into peer-peer payments is obviously a step in making Messenger a platform in itself. And I think that may well be the tipping point for apps & industries that leverage 1-1 comms a lot.
It maybe be hard to become the next WhatsApp but there’s a great chance to leverage these APIs, when opened, to become something very noteworthy because the same network effects that blocked the growth of the next Facebook, also aided the growth of auxiliary social platforms such as Quora, Pinterest, etc. to piggy-back on top of Facebook for growth.
It’s time for a new generation of apps that use private messaging platforms the same way. Would be super interesting to see how this shapes up.
TechCrunch’s post on how Facebook plans to make Messenger a platform