Last week, Facebook announced a new plan to increase their user base. I know that with a title like “Facebook is Taking Over”, a lot of you may be thinking that they are planning to enforce usage across the population or something drastic like that.
Rest assured, it has nothing to do with that.
Their plan is to make it so that even those who do not have a Facebook account can still use Facebook Messenger. On the surface, this might not seem like too big of a deal. But what this shows is a pretty big step in a very specific direction for Facebook.
It helps to think about it this way: If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can still use email. This is pretty much the same idea. For me, it seems that Facebook has been accepting that some people either never have or never will again use Facebook. So, the most logical way around that is to allow use for general communication between individuals.
What is happening is basically this: Facebook is looking to become our default means of communication, no matter what the type. They have their regular chat service (AOL Instant Messenger), their video chat service (Skype), their sending money service (Wells Fargo?), and now their all-access messaging service (Email). I know the sending money thing doesn’t really have anything to do with their takeover of communication, but I thought it still should be thrown in there.
Looking at it this way, it makes sense. Facebook has grown so much that the only logical direction for it to go in is outward. It can only accumulate other communication tools.
Many users (and non-users) might be apprehensive about this move, but I feel that there is nothing to worry about. If anything, as business owners using social media, it helps us out. Including those who do not use Facebook to use Facebook services can, and will, lead to increased exposure for us. Maybe not in the actual messenger service itself, but in Facebook’s accumulation of users through this service.
Essentially, what I am predicting is this: Joe doesn’t use Facebook. But he is selling his couch, and the only way he can talk to his buyer is through Facebook Messenger. He doesn’t need an account, so he feels okay with using it. Over time, Joe sees how convenient Facebook can be. He decides to get a profile. As his profile is built and he makes connections, Joe sees various posts and ads made by people like us. Joe follows those posts and ads and eventually becomes a customer. Boo-yah.
I understand that others might have different opinions on this move, but this is what I make of all of it. Stay tuned for more updates on Facebook and the ever-changing atmosphere that is social media.
– Alec England, Columnist, Centerlyne