Facebook has launched a slew of new features for its Messenger app that are designed to extend functionality. Facebook is expected to push Messenger as a one-stop app for all communication that even allows users to get in touch with businesses. But could the app kill email?
With over 600 million users, Messenger is certainly in a position to make serious waves in how we communicate — even more than it already has.
The new features essentially turn Messenger into a platform of its own, allowing users to install apps that work with Messenger. If a user receives a message from an app they don't have on their device, they will be prompted to install it. This, however, goes beyond simple fun GIFs and JibJab messages. Any number of interesting and creative features could be added to Messenger.
Going forward, Messenger will also be used as a medium for communication between businesses and their customers. A restaurant will be able to set up personalized messages to send out to customers, who will in turn be able to send their own messages about something they ordered.
All of this has Facebook's Messenger imposing on the more traditional yet still very effective email.
Having long believed that email is on the way out, Facebook has offered its users alternatives such as Messenger. It would be a little much to suggest that Facebook is aiming to kill email with Messenger — but it certainly seems like Facebook is trying to reduce the amount that people access their email.
At the Facebook F8 event, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said users often call businesses if they need information, but it would be easy to assume that many people email instead.
While Facebook and its associated apps are by far the most popular on mobile devices, right below are various communication apps like email. By cutting down the need to turn to email, Facebook is essentially turning Messenger into a communication hub.
It is highly likely that many businesses will launch Messenger-integrated apps and services in the coming weeks. The more services that are added to Messenger, the less often people will use services like email and other apps.
It's hard to imagine a life without email — but at one point or another, it will probably be replaced with something else. Is that thing Facebook Messenger?
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