Ten years ago, Facebook was starting to become the most favored social network for people who wanted to keep tabs on friends and family. Now we can choose from several popular messaging apps on our smartphones when it comes to sharing what we want with whom we want.
And in recent months, the trend of one-to-one communication has been gaining traction among users of social media, simply because when you message someone in private, we expect a reply. When you post on Facebook, it often feels like leaving a note on a friend’s door in the hope they’ll see it.
Social networking is going through a makeover with the rise of messaging services, and Facebook’s one-to-many type of communication is being gradually being replaced by more direct messaging.
According to a recent report of data startup Quettra, six of the 10 most-downloaded and most-used apps are the ones providing messaging services – the average user opens one of them 9 times a day.
When it comes to Facebook-owned texting apps, WhatsApp and Messenger are opened on average 25 to 30 times a day, while the classic Facebook app only comes up 15 times. This doesn’t mean that Facebook is getting dumped, it only means its purpose has changed and its messaging apps have become more relevant.
People are starting to appreciate more the one-to-one chatting, because it reflects more closely the way people interact every day. And Facebook has noticed the trend and it has happily hopped on board.
After purchasing WhatsApp for $22 billion last year, the Silicon Valley tech giant has also invested and promoted in the upgraded version of Messenger, transforming it in a stand-alone platform boasting more than 700 million users.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Q&A session that numbers show that messaging is the only thing people love more than social networking – and they directed their efforts accordingly. But trouble might be looming still.
With its primary revenue coming from advertising that shows up in the users’ feed, there’s a certain risk hidden in the shift to messaging apps, as they don’t benefit from such a stream that makes room for displaying ads.
But Facebook is hinting to other ways of making money, such as monetizing Messenger. After opening it to outside developers that brought in games and its own payment method, no one is worried that Facebook’s deep pockets will have to suffer.
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