Facebook’s Messenger Platform Preserves WhatsApp’s Clarity Of Purpose

26 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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We demystified it last month, but Facebook’s $18 billion acquisition of WhatsApp should begin to make more sense to people today after the company announced that its Messenger service will become a platform for third parties — as TechCrunch first reported last week. This feature comes in after years of requests from users for the feature to be included in the app and now users of this world-famous instant messaging app can start enjoying free voice calls between each other.

WhatsApp latest free download version has more than 700 million users across the world and it is closely followed by Facebook Messenger, which has already managed a user base of more than 500 million people in a span of less than three years.In the recent past, many people have turned to using smartphone messengers such as Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Talkatone and Viber to connect with each other rather than use telecom carriers for the same purpose.

This app has such a huge following because of a number of reasons and among them are; it is free to download, simple and easy to use and that it offers the best services as far as instant messaging is concerned. The Messenger Platform will allow developers to deeplink their apps into Messenger, and it will also become a communications channel for businesses and customers. Updates could also be introduced that will allow users to speak through Messenger on third-party sites — a change that seemed to be referenced in a leak this morning.

One major reason why this has been on the constant rise is the convenience these messengers give users, where they can easily send and receive instant messages from any other person using the same app without incurring any costs. These moves aren’t a huge surprise — they’ve been pioneered by Line and WeChat in Asia for years, and Facebook’s head of Messenger, David Marcus, gave plenty of hints in an interview with Wired last year — but, while the tech industry chews over the immediate implications, the path for WhatsApp is clearer than ever. Furthermore, you’ll also notice some changes in the performance of the app as well as appearance; all of which are aimed at enhancing the experience of the user. WhatsApp’s simplicity is the yin to the yang of Messenger’s busy platform. “No ads, no games, and no gimmicks” has long been the ethos for WhatsApp’s founders, who instead stick to the business of connecting people.

Initially that was via free messages — WhatsApp has eclipsed SMS in volume — and now it includes voice calls, which are slowly rolling out on Android devices first. If Facebook didn’t have Messenger — or WhatsApp had remained independent — there would be pressure to introduce games, business-consumer messaging or other features that are money spinners in Asia and way more lucrative than WhatsApp’s $1 per year subscription. (Though, for what it’s worth, I’ve not paid a cent for my three years using it.) However, with Messenger adopting the platform approach and offering a more interactive experience, WhatsApp can be its antithesis and focus on basic communication. But there’s likely a vast overlap between that userbase and the 600 million that Facebook says use Messenger — duplicating features across the two would make no sense.

In fact, these versions are not meant for the general public to download and install.Instead, developers and other expert users can take advantage of them and get to know the new features that apps are working on. The voice calling feature of WhatsApp has mostly been reported by Indian users, something that has prompted the idea that WhatsApp is working on improved connections in areas with poor network connections.

Yes, WhatsApp may not make the kind of revenue per user as Messenger if it stays simple, but I’m willing to bet that Facebook is happier to have it as a differentiated experience that keeps non-Messenger users inside the Facebook ecosystem in some form. This is because developers had to stop it in order to work on some elements before going ahead with implementing the changes and rolling it out again. By invite-only basis it means that you need to get someone who has the feature activated on their phones to call you so as to activate it on yours too. At the moment, the latest beta version of WhatsApp comes without the invitation feature which might indicate that the company is ready to release the full feature for all Android users.

You should note that while using Hangouts, Viber and Talkatone is free for life using WhatsApp is only free for the first one year, after which you’ll have to pay a fee of $0.99 to keep using the messenger. With Talkatone free download, you get a default free minutes’ package that you use for a given period, say one month, once you install this VoIP app. Make sure you have enabled the installation of apps from other sources other than Google Play Store via your device’s Security or Applications settings. Viber is equipped with one of the largest sticker market, and using these characters, you can make conversations more fun and enjoyable than using plain words.

The good thing with these apps is that they are available for free and all you need is a reliable internet connection and you’ll be flying with free messages and calls to every location of the world. If you cannot have either app installed on your Android device, you can still get both WhatsApp free download and Facebook Messenger installed on your device so that you can enjoy using both of them.

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