Facebook is encouraging developers to create interactive bots so that you can run mobile apps and do shopping within Facebook messenger. You can already organise Uber taxi rides from within Facebook messenger. The social networking company has started offering its SDK to selected developers in order to let them build interactive boards to enable users to run mobile apps and do shopping without having to leave the Facebook messenger.
Facebook doesn’t want you to leave chatting and do whatever you need to do within the messenger. You can even use the built-in payment system to make payments for the orders that you make while having a conversation with your friends. Friends can be encouraged to make collective purchases or even organise shopping expeditions together. Even friends can sell products and services within Facebook messenger – you can simply add debit card to your account and the money is deducted from your account and added to your friend’s account without extra fee to you. Flipkar in India is also encouraging its users to chat with friends and relatives while making purchases.
But why encourage people to run mobile apps and do shopping within Facebook messenger?
Instant messengers are evolving into their own ecosystems. Various studies have revealed that teenagers and youngsters are leaving Facebook and Twitter and more and more are using mobile instant messaging apps. This is why social networking websites like Facebook are putting more effort into messenger apps rather than their main web-based websites. In fact, Facebook is so worried about making people use its messenger no matter what that it is also working on a scenario when it may have to offer Facebook messenger outside of Google play store. Big stakes are involved. Massive user bases have been built but now what they need to show is the money. Less people are using Facebook to post random messages. But within Facebook messenger lots of people are spending more and more time and they need to leave the messenger only to run mobile apps or do shopping.
When people leave the messenger it is totally sidelined and its stakes are totally gone. On the Internet, business is where people are and these days people are mostly on instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat, and if Facebook can manage, Facebook messenger. Shopping these days is less about individual decision and more about social interaction. We are living in a totally connected world where people are constantly telling each other what to buy, what not to buy, what to use and what to prefer. There is also lots of impulse buying when people are talking to each other and want to check out the stuff the others have purchased. This can happen within Facebook messenger.
Giving people an ability to run mobile apps within Facebook messenger is just a backdoor entry into introducing the ability to do shopping collectively. The more apps that can be run, the greater will be people’s familiarity with using the interface.
Of course when developers use the Facebook SDK, they will be using components used by Facebook. So all the apps will have the look and feel of Facebook. In order to shop with regularity, people need to get familiar with the interface and when they begin to run mobile apps and do shopping within Facebook messenger on an ongoing basis they will keep the messenger on all the time and this can bring infinite possibilities for the social networking company. Facebook doesn’t have an operating system like Android or iOS but it has something that people eagerly use: Facebook messenger. So whatever it wants to offer to its users, it has to offer within Facebook messenger.