The world of online messaging, digital marketing and social media has changed yet again. Facebook may be revamping its Messenger chat features—placing the client back within its social media hub app. While the feature is currently being tested, its reported trajectory serves to help mobile users utilize a single app to access Facebook’s numerous features.
App researcher Jane Manchun Wong suggests that the upcoming changes still uses Facebook’s Messenger button—but the button, itself, leads users into a new “Chats” section; this change differs from the current build, as Facebook’s mobile setup currently directs mobile users into a separate application.
The History of Facebook’s Messenger App
For digital marketers, the change may offer striking opportunities. Firstly, it revamps Facebook’s privacy options and baseline security. Moreover, it returns users to the original functionality Facebook once offered in terms of messaging.
The Messenger app was first released in 2011 as a standalone app. In 2014, Facebook removed the app’s functionality from the eponymous app. Now, in 2019, Mark Zuckerberg reportedly plans to integrate services once more.
Facebook has come a long way since its acquisition of Beluga—a separate group messaging startup which eventually evolved from its three-person team design into the full-fledged Facebook app we now know. Messenger’s popularity across Android and iOS, alone, has made it a titan within the digital marketing world.
The Revamped World of Messenger
As part of Facebook’s message integration plans, it intends for the service’s individual chat options to still exist. This is a surprising decision, based upon previous changes which have seemingly led to this point. Aside from the main client’s white color redesign, we’ll also be seeing a mirrored Facebook Messenger white design.
The primary reason for maintaining divisibility between the apps, experts suggest, is to test the messaging service’s functionality across both ends of the spectrum. Messenger is a feature-rich platform, one which engages over one billion people per month.
Where businesses are considered, the Facebook Messenger changes aren’t the only changes worth noting. Digital marketers, startup gurus and small business operators, alike, can benefit from understanding several other changes brewing at Facebook—as each concerns Facebook’s upcoming privacy setting changes in relation to both its messaging features and its utilization of data in general.
Facebook’s Privacy Changes
Recently, Facebook announced its privacy improvement initiative in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal which resulted in companies cutting ties with the provider. Mozilla, SpaceX and Tesla are among these—creating a large loss for the company in general.
Still, digital marketers needn’t lose hope in the platform as a useful marketing tool. Facebook plans to make its privacy settings far more accessible, visible and effective than ever before. Many business leaders remain wary of the company, however, due to over 50 million Facebook users’ information being collected without consent.
Data Will Be Easier to Manage
The first privacy reform we’ll see comes in the form of Facebook’s new privacy shortcuts menu. This menu lets users manage their data with a few clicks—letting them turn on additional security features for extra privacy.
Two-factor authentication is the first feature, giving passwords, emails and usernames extra power against malicious breach attempts. Plus, users can manage their information utilized for Facebook ads, adjusting the visibility of their profiles.
With this new menu also arrives the option for users to delete their data entirely. This is refreshing, as Facebook users have often issued complaints about a lacking transparency in terms of data management and removal from services. Using this feature, data will be removed from Facebook targeted ads, business links and account reference features such as suggested Facebook groups.
Privacy Settings Will Be Consolidated
In the past, it was difficult to manage one’s privacy in general. As part of Facebook’s privacy redesign process, it plans to amend these issues by consolidating its privacy options within a single menu. For now, this consolidation appears to be planned for mobile devices, alone—yet we expect to see a redesign for desktop as well.
Where digital marketing is considered, this offers an easy cross-channel marketing strategy in: Before, settings were spread across nearly 20 screens, slowing the ease-of-accessibility to staggering rates. In the near future, digital marketers will benefit from a decisive, clean layout which prompts quick action, quick results and follow through in terms of opt-in and opt-out services.
Users Will Be Able to Download Data
Finally, Facebook plans to make user data downloadable. As part of its revamped security package, Facebook’s mobile and desktop platforms alike will make it easier for users to determine what, exactly, their data is.
On top of this, users can securely micromanage their information depending on which features it’s allocated to. They can even remove data usage altogether, refreshing their Facebook experience. These features will be worked into Facebook’s terms of service, as well as its overarching data policy. In high hopes, it will better spell out which data is collected, how it’s used and when it’s used.
Overall, Facebook’s newest privacy settings prioritize transparency—which is certainly a good thing. Chief decision makers have also spoken about misconceptions pertaining to new usage rights; reportedly, Facebook has stated the changes aren’t about collecting, using or sharing new data. Rather, the newest strategy invokes true customer service to new heights in an ever-changing process of guaranteed security.
Exploring Facebook’s Newest Messenger Features
As a digital marketer, it’s always a good idea to get the scoop on platform developments. Again: Facebook might be consolidating its messaging platform, but it’ll still offer separate Messenger accessibility during the transition—and, likely, for some time into the future.
We first heard about the redesign options at Facebook’s F8 developer conference in May. Now, the all-new Messenger app is available across Apple’s App Store as well as the Google Play Store. While privacy and integration features still haven’t reached peak velocity, in terms of Facebook’s overall change plan, the new Messenger app still offers a slew of features digital marketers can benefit from.
These features, when paired with Facebook’s newest privacy developments, aim to redesign the chat experience by presenting messages in an increasingly transparent way. While it’s taking time to hit a widespread release, the newest Messenger app is expected to see a prolonged rollout period in October.
The first notable feature is a consolidation of nine Messenger tabs into three. Before, users could access a wider chat screen, separate tasks between windows and swap interfaces. This worked, but it was a bit laborious for users to browse messages quickly—and respond quickly.
The newest interface offers a clean-looking design which incorporates all elements into the minimalist three-space design. The reduced windows aren’t the only benefit, either, as the lowered processing strain has increased overall functionality and speed within the app.
Facebook Messenger will still feature the functionality it had in the past—and then some. The three-tab chats compact games, reminders, group messages and bots seamlessly—enacting the same, minimalist design elements to assure complete control over Messenger’s finest attributes.
This feature caters to the user experience entirely. Now, users can quickly access the features they want, when they want and however they want to.
Departure from Portal Video Chat
This feature is still in the process of actualization, as Facebook’s most current messenger build relies on a maligned Portal video chat device for guaranteed functionality. While Portal excels in its role as a modern-era video phone, it’s simply not accessible enough to be considered a positive experience in broader context.
Fortunately, Facebook plans to move away from this platform dependency, giving users control over Messenger’s video services immediately.
Digital Marketing Made Simple
Messenger has become complex, between its tabs for games, people and businesses. Creating a new text message often became a garbled process which mixed precariously with enacting a video conference call. It’s no surprise digital marketers have shied away from the platform in general.
We feel Facebook’s newest developments will change this—making visual media much easier to digest via Messenger and Facebook alike. Considering the staggering statistics underlying tab-switching as a sore spot for marketers seeking reliable click-through, the newest updates are certainly a boon.
Of course, this leaves responsibility more in the hands of marketers, themselves. Variables reduced, and privacy increased, results in a higher demand for marketer transparency, too. Where will your digital marketing journey lead you next? In terms of Facebook, the pastures may be greener than ever.