Facebook to increase focus on standalone apps - Mobile World Live

Facebook to increase focus on standalone apps

01 NOV 2013

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, outlined how the social networking giant plans to put a greater emphasis on its standalone apps – Instagram and Facebook Messenger.

Although the company has historically built a lot of its sharing features into “the core Facebook app” Zuckerberg said there are now a number of separate apps that “are each large services that help people share in different ways”.

“Instagram enables more than 150 monthly actives to share beautiful photos, also more publicly than people would want to share on Facebook. Messenger is part of how people spend billions of private one-to-one and group messages every day,” he said.

“In the future, we expect to develop more services help people share different content with different groups of people and we will continue to build up Messenger as a better distinct messaging experience,” Zuckerberg continued.

At the beginning of October, it was announced that Instagram, which Facebook acquired for $1 billion in April 2012, would start to show ads within its photo sharing app in the US as the company looks to build itself into a “sustainable business”.

Meanwhile, the latest update to Facebook Messenger sees Facebook “continuing to add features and make this a better experience”, according to Zuckerberg.

The update to Messenger for Android includes the ability to send messages to users of the app that don’t use Facebook itself. Users input their phone numbers when they set up the app, allowing others to send them messages using their phone number as the ID. The update also features a tweaked interface to make it easier to navigate.

However, the update has reportedly done away with the ability to send messages via SMS, just as Google added the same functionality to its Google+ Hangouts app.

The ability to send messages via SMS was introduced to Messenger for Android a year ago, to allow all messages to be kept in a single location. But poor traction has seen it dropped for the update, according TechCrunch.

A limited number of Messenger for Android users are now testing the new version of the app.

Zuckerberg also alluded to the success of the company’s developer products, such as mobile app install ads, launched to drive app downloads, but recently tweaked to improve app engagement.

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Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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