Are we about to start hating Facebook’s famous Messenger service? Soon, you won’t know if that ping you received is from a friend or a bot. Were you expecting a friend to reply? Or is it just Mashable’s bot sending you a new article to read?
This is how things took a turn for the worse with email. It started as a service for people to get connected and it ended up in a dark pit where newsletters, receipts, and fake inheritance messages get together.
Facebook had waited just the right amount of time before it started unleashing bots on us. Even just a year ago, the Messenger platform was barely over half its current size, and it did not become yet the institutionalized communication service it is today.
Back then, the messaging market was seriously divided between more services, and SMS was a more popular choice among users. However, as Messenger approaches a billion users, Facebook saw an opportunity and took it.
In the western world, the No 1 social network also has the No 1 mobile messaging service, and there’s little competition. After it had bought WhatsApp – the reigning champ almost everywhere else – it started dominating the international market, except for China.
And now, Facebook hopes its calculated bet will prove successful: bringing businesses on board Messenger without having users jump ship.
According to David Marcus, head of Messenger, the app “can become the main, central hub for all of your communication and interactions with all sorts of different services and business, and it will remain forever a people-centric thing.”
Messenger will essentially become a hub for everything you would want to do online – and offline, as well. Many of these experiences people have with businesses could be better on Messenger, by cutting the inconvenient hold times and time-consuming conversations.
But there’s a high risk to it. Mail spam is one thing, but getting push notifications on your phone is much worse. Consumers will start worrying that Facebook’s bot initiative will end up in a similarly unpleasant situation.
“Give a bot permission, and it can ping you every day.” What a terrible thing that would be. It would end up in a lot of noise among the important things you would want to receive through Messenger.
Image Source: Marketing Land