Social media giant Facebook (FB) recently took a page out of AOL’s (ancient) playbook by creating a standalone desktop messaging platform similar to AIM (for those who remember, this was the greatest invention of all time). The goal of Facebook’s new PC application is to expand its user base, increase data collection, and generate higher revenues. By allowing members to freely message their friends without constant advertising interruptions, users may very well prefer to utilize the desktop messenger in comparison to its online counterpart.
Facebook’s standalone desktop application mirrors its mobile version of Messenger; users are able to send quick texts, pictures, videos, and gifs to their connections without encountering the seemingly endless stream of advertisements, suggestions, and irrelevant information. In essence, Facebook’s desktop Messenger app allows subscribers to ignore the many intrusive features of Facebook’s website.
The engineering gurus at Facebook have realized that the site’s most prominent feature is also its most promising. Many people use Facebook solely for contacting friends and family. It’s a quick and easy alternative to email and texting, and is also somewhat easier to manage than alternative social media apps. For example, you may want to contact an individual whose information isn’t stored on your phone, in which case Facebook is an optimal substitute.
This new messaging app is part of an emerging portfolio aimed at transforming Facebook into a mostly mobile platform. First Facebook disabled messaging on its main mobile app, which subsequently forced users to download the standalone smartphone Messenger app; Facebook also purchased WhatsApp in 2014 for an astounding $18 billion (to enhance its mobile footprint) This lucrative expansionary strategy indicates that Facebook is not just a social media platform, but is also an emerging tech conglomerate.
As of now, users remain able to message their friends from the online Facebook website. However, it is unknown whether or not the new desktop application will resemble its mobile predecessor. If it does, Facebook members will be forced to install the standalone PC platform. In any case, desktop Messenger is the latest attempt by Facebook to connect the world and monetize user information.