It would appear that Facebook is about to turn its Messenger app from a simple way to communicate with friends into a platform more along the lines of Snapchat. In the near future, the service will be opened up to allow third party developers to create and deliver their own content directly to the Messenger audience.
While Facebook isn’t looking to set up a service to rival Snapchat, it is looking at functionality that it can add to make the Messenger service more useful to users while simultaneously gathering more data for themselves. This is by no means the first step in this direction for Messenger, with the ability to handle voice calls between friends having already been added over the last few months.
Though the exact details are yet to be confirmed there are strong rumours that Facebook will shortly be unveiling deals with 20 different companies as it seeks to try out its updated offering. This news follows on quickly from the recent announcement of a peer to peer system similar to Barclays Pingit for transferring money.
This new, more versatile Messenger app would allow Facebook to collect even more user data than it already does. If you read the small print that comes with the Messenger app you will note that short of the combination to your safe, the app asks for permission for every bit of information about your life.
These changes could potentially give Facebook access to users’ buying habits, something that would then be of great value when it comes to selling advertising space to companies. Because the offering could be that much more targeted, it makes it potentially much more lucrative for Facebook and gives them a strong starting position.
If this change in direction proves to be a hit with users then Facebook could look to further develop on these lines, and explore the possibility of adding further features that it thinks would be useful or wold allow the company to leverage even more information about its users. Confirmation of exactly what Facebook is planning to do is expected at the F8 conference that is due to be held on March 25th and 26th.