The future of social media going back to the SMS age?
Recently, Facebook has been working on integrating its Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram chat, which will allow users to message their contacts on any of those services, not just within the same application or website.
Despite the backlash that these plans have gotten, especially due to the promises that Facebook made to keep the companies independent during both the acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram, the company seems to be moving forward with the idea.
One of the former executives who worked on Facebook Messenger for three years, Anand Chandrasekaran, was instrumental to the growth of the service and led the growth of the Messenger platform until January 2019.
“At the end of the day the relationship with customers is why people keep coming back to a brand. That’s what drives retention for companies and brands. Automating your messaging experience allows for that.”Anand Chandrasekaran, ex-Facebook Messenger executive
At the point of his exit, Messenger’s developer ecosystem was one with more than 300,000 chat bots.
Chandrasekaran has not turned away from messaging and artificial intelligence – quite the opposite.
Over the last few years, he has made numerous investments in India-based messaging and artificial intelligence startups, especially those that are building apps for messaging services like Messenger and WhatsApp, or a combination of both.
There is something to be said about personal messaging platforms. They're becoming widely popular on multiple social media sites such as LinkedIn and Instagram. In light of privacy protection becoming increasingly important, encrypted end-to-end messages are the way forward.
Facebook and other messaging services will need to decipher how to make their platforms profitable. The last thing people want are interruptions and company AI softwares listening to their conversations. Given that personal messaging improves interpersonal relationships, this move might also help alleviate loneliness that social media has brought into the world.
There is also the case of proving easy connection between people and businesses. Social media is increasingly used by people to contact customer service, and this is a huge opportunity to be explored moving forward.