This past summer, the mobile Facebook app broke off its messaging function so it could become its own separate app. Suffice it to say, this change did not go over well with many of those who have used Facebook’s main app in the past. In fact, if you were to search for Facebook Messenger on the App Store, you may find that it still rests at a 1.5 out of 5 star rating.
Facebook users have been demanding an answer to the simple question: Why did this change occur in the first place?
After a number of months, the answer was received. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the change was made in order to better the mobile experience. Specifically, according to Forbes, Zuckerberg mentioned that, “…messaging is becoming increasingly important,” which is true. He said that more than 10 billion messages were sent, through Facebook, on a day-to-day basis. The attention of users, more often than not, was on focused experiences, which is where the separation between the main Facebook app and Facebook Messenger stemmed from.
To start off, I cannot completely support this change, even after months have passed since then. I do not find it to be entirely conducive to allocate more space, on my iPhone, to an app that could have simply been part of the main app for the long haul. At the onset, this change was viewed as one of the more cumbersome, since it could potentially add to the existing clutter on each and every individual’s smartphone. I can’t necessarily disagree with this point. Does this necessarily mean this app separation of sorts has been entirely negative?
Reflecting on Facebook Messenger
After spending ample time with the Facebook Messenger app, I can’t exactly lean towards a negative bias. Even though the change was awkward, at first, I found myself better able to use the app in time. It was easy enough to click on a notification that popped up on my phone before being directed to the message window. My phone alerts me of every message given and even if I miss the initial notification, the red circle at the top right corner of the icon proved useful. Simply put, with time I was able to find fewer gripes to complain about.
With these points in mind, I’d like to offer advice to companies who may want to go about a similar endeavor. To said companies, I implore you to reach out to your audience ahead of time. Let them know about any changes you’d like to make and see what they have to say in response. You won’t be asked to like every piece of negative criticism but instead try to see matters from the point of view of your audience. What this will lead to is effective communication, which no online marketing firm can overlook. It will also let you understand if a potential change is truly for the best.
What is your take on Facebook Messenger? Has your opinion changed, either positively or negatively, since the move this past August? Please leave your thoughts below.