Facebook on Wednesday 25th March, announced that it was opening up access to the Messenger Platform, to allow third party developers to build content and services for Facebook’s standalone messaging app, Messenger.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the news at the company’s F8 developer conference in San Francisco. He listed a few examples of projects Facebook already has under way, including the ability to use Messenger to track purchases made and even change orders by messaging directly with the retailer.
The expansion and innovation in its messenger service beyond simply text sending will bring it more in line with other Asian social media companies such as ‘WeChat’ of China and’ Line’ of Japan, both which are indigenously developed and have advanced features in their messenger services beyond text. WeChat, for example, allows users to do things like play games, make payments and even book travel through the app.
Facebook split Messenger out of its flagship app last summer, and Facebook’s CEO said later that the reason for the split was to make it easier to build other features into the product. Facebook did just that last week by adding peer-to-peer payments to Messenger. Perhaps some of the other features Zuckerberg was hinting at will be created by developers outside of Facebook, as reported by New York Times.