The Next Beginning Of A New Era In Messaging

As we’ve written about many a time , the biggest misconception in the world of messaging is that “texting” means a lot of different things. And while it’s a lovely rhetorical shortcut to call the delivery of words to another person “texting” there are so many different ways of doing it that it necessitates just how the messages get from point A to point B.

The oldest and most popular form of messaging (especially amongst Android users) is SMS and it’s very likely that the first time you used the term “text messaging” you were referring to this.

Other than SMS, the most popular forms of texting are:

  • iMessage
  • Facebook Messenger
  • WhatsApp

Of course, iMessage is built into the Apple ecosystem and is unavailable to everyone else, so it’s popularity is distinctly tied to Apple device success.

On the third-party app front, here’s what the graph looks like

That’s what makes today’s news so important:

Zuckerberg Plans to Integrate WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger

That’s right, according to the New York Times, Facebook (the owner of both) is uniting the two services. While, for the time being, the two user-facing apps will remain separate, it appears that functionally there will be a single system. The two largest messaging apps are becoming one.

What does it mean for you?

  • In the short run, nothing. Neither of these services have easy-to-use business functionality, so nothing is likely to get disrupted or changed before the back-ends are unified in late 2019 / early 2020.
  • In the medium run, it depends. One of the major questions facing Facebook has been to what extent can companies use their messaging systems like their end-users do. It’s quite possible that this is exactly the kind of initiative that precedes an opening up of these platforms to people like us. (However, Facebook’s privacy issues likely have put a damper on this…)
  • In the long run, A LOT. The unification of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger basically guarantees that this will be the largest non-Chinese messaging platform for the next decade. Every single person and company that engages in messaging (basically everyone) will be affected by this effective monopoly. The choices that the WhatsApp/Facebook Messenger combo makes about who gets to send what, when, why, and how will be the rules of the game as long as the eyes can see.

By partnering with us here at FranFunnel, you get the benefit of not having to worry about details like this as we eat, sleep, and breathe this stuff every day. We’ll make sure to keep y’all up to speed with what’s next in the messaging revolution.

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